Two potato and sweet corn soup with three different garnishes

19 Aug

Two potato and sweet corn soup with three different garnishes

Two potato and sweet corn soup with three different garnishes

I’m sitting amongst the chaos of toys and emails whilst I write this, with my thick cosy socks wrapping my feet and a blanket draped on my legs. I have always felt older than my years you know, always. Eyes a bit bleary and dates a-muddle, it all feels a bit disorderly.

In full sleeved attire and legs well and truly covered I felt a bit of chill as we walked to the pool this morning. I looked forward to sitting in the warm and shallow kid’s pool, albeit with bedlam of squeals and splashing children swishing down the slide that sits in the pool. The pool is not large, so I chuckled that we sat in our costumes relatively close to each other and cooed at our own toddlers and infants but barely exchanged polite greetings towards each other. But it was nice to see so much love in that pool. My boy was happy, ‘you not working in cookery class today, daddy’s not here, but you’re with ME’. I asked him if he was happy, ‘yes, I love you mum, you stay with me’.

Amongst all the disarray of the last three and half years, this has happened. There is colour and some peace. And it tastes good.

Two potato and sweet corn soup with three different garnishes

I held a cookery class on Saturday and one on Sunday and my goodness they were at full capacity, in a gorgeous school in the city that I love (London, of course) and we had people frying, rolling spring rolls, making cashew nut cream…and we had smiles and fun. Can I tell you what I really came away with? A lady told me she was really proud of herself and she thought her curry was better than restaurant quality. Two women hugged and exchanged contact details as they left because they had connected so well. A couple fed each other and held hands because the class was their quality time together. A young pair of people flirted mildly (yes I noticed and sorry if you are reading this, but it was very sweet). A lady who was scared of frying made the best fusion style pakora. Everything ran to time. I was sent emails afterwards with thanks and professionals emailed me telling me that the class is ‘exceptionally good’. I had a lady who had not cooked because her mother and sister were the queens of the kitchen but now she felt like she had dishes to serve her little boy and husband. A young man came away saying, ‘now I can impress my mum’.

Things are beginning to make some sense.

My soup today tells this story. This recipe is inspired by a Columbian recipe for ajiaco and a harmony of deep, Autumnal soothing potatoes (both sweet and fluffy) in a stew-like soup with the promise of brightness with a fresh tomato salsa with coriander, light crème fraiche, and creamy green avocado. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t spice it up a bit so I have included fennel seeds, cumin seeds and guajillo chillies for a smoky touch. I have also included some mock chicken but you could use tofu. All in all this becomes a healthful and balanced meal. I didn’t need bread on the side; the soup is really filling, fresh and nourishing. With promise.

Two potato and sweet corn soup with three different garnishes

Ingredients to serve 4

For the soup

250g marabel potatoes (or other floury potato suitable for baking or mashing)

250g sweet potato

200g sweet corn (I used tinned)

One large leek, chopped into chunks

2 bay leaves

200g mock chicken/vegetarian chicken/soya chunks/tofu

1 ½ litres of good quality vegetable stock

3 spring onions

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. cumin seeds

2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. fennel seeds

2 guajillo chillies

2 green chillies

2 tbsp. olive oil or butter

For the coriander and tomato salsa

200g ripe red tomatoes, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 spring onions cut into bite sized chunks

50g coriander, finely chopped

You will also need;

One large ripe avocado cut into slim wedges

4-8 tbsp. crème fraiche


  1. Lightly heat the olive oil or butter and then add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaves and green chillies and once the seeds have started to sizzle stir in the marabel potatoes, garlic and spring onions and cook for a minute
  2. Pour in the vegetable stock and rice wine vinegar and bring the soup to a simmer before adding the guajillo chillies
  3. Simmer the soup for ten minutes before adding the leek, sweet corn and sweet potatoes and then cook for a further ten minutes.
  4. In the meantime, prepare the salsa by combining the tomatoes, coriander, spring onions and garlic.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and dress them with the garnishes or let the diners do it themselves for added fun.

I am sharing this recipe with Lavendar and Lovage for the cooking with herbs challenge




27 Responses to “Two potato and sweet corn soup with three different garnishes”

  1. andydhare August 19, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    Looks a really nice recipe. There is something about a soup in cooler weather that makes a warm glow. Thanks for sharing,

    • Deena Kakaya August 19, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

      Isn’t there just Andy, I’m hoping that I can hang on to a bit more sunshine 🙂

      • andydhare August 19, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

        Yes please, then back to the veggie salads:) fingers crossed.

  2. Traditionally Modern Food August 19, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    Yummy and colorful souo

    • Deena Kakaya August 19, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

      Thanks so much, a bit of colour in food is so uplifting isn’t it x

  3. simplyvegetarian777 August 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    Wow Deena! Such a good looking and hearty soup. A soul warmer for sure :).

  4. kellie anderson August 20, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    Lovely story today, Deena. I get similar experiences with my cancer nutrition classes where I work. The best thing for me is when a cluster of quite scared and shy people who have felt lonely in their cancer experience end up exchanging numbers and getting out the diaries to arrange a meet up. It is all I can do not to cluck and coo like a mother hen. It is wonderful that your skills have quickly created such a special environment to learn and share. The pix on IG showed a wonderful light room, but even if it was a shed with a strip light your class would have ‘glowed’ under your loving tutelage.

    • Deena Kakaya August 20, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

      Thank you hugely Kellie. Your cancer nutrition classes sound like a really positive and nourishing environment to be in and I have also seen those beautifully colorful dishes you prepare on IG, how often do you hold them?

      Kellie, I am still smiling after the classes, can not wait till the next two. xx

  5. spiceinthecity August 20, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    Thats a beautiful soup Deena 🙂 Perfect for the cooler weather that we are already experiencing!

  6. Katie @ Whole Nourishment August 20, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    Deena, your cooking class sounded wonderful! It feels so great to provide something that puts a smile on people’s faces, doesn’t it? And this soup is making my mouth water even though I’ve already had dinner. It’s getting cooler here and warming, heavier stews are beginning to re-surface at our house.

    • Deena Kakaya August 20, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      It was indeed wonderful Katie, I am still smiling at having delivered something lasting for people x

  7. Poppy August 20, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    I love the mexican flair in this Deena! Xo

  8. recipesfromapantry August 21, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    I am so pleased your class wen well and fingers crossed for the flirting couple. Love the soup too.

    • Deena Kakaya August 21, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

      Thanks so much for your kind words Bintu, they are much appreciated. X

  9. mjskit August 21, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    Reading what you observed in your cookery class took me back to my classroom days. I loved watching my students and seeing their progress and the time when they experience those “aha” moments. Sounds like you had quite a few on Saturday. Thoroughly enjoyed your post and your soup is right up my alley. Delicious!

    • Deena Kakaya August 21, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      Ah, I’m so pleased to read your message-thanks so much for sharing your experience with me. Were you a teacher? X

  10. Rhonda Sittig August 27, 2014 at 1:55 am #

    So many great flavors in this bowl of soup– and I love corn in anything! another amazing recipe Deena!

    • Deena Kakaya August 27, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      Thanks Rhonda! It’s fun to eat, lots of variety x

  11. karen278 September 8, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    Full of fragrance and flavour, your recipes NEVER disappoint me Deena and this one is also a work of art in a bowl! Thanks for entering it into Cooking with Herbs! Karen

    • Deena Kakaya September 8, 2014 at 9:08 am #

      You are always so generous with your praise Karen, thank you x

  12. karen278 October 2, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    SORRY for my late comment Deena, I have been away for nearly 3 weeks with limited wi-fi etc! THANKS so much for your LOVELY entries into Cooking with Herbs, all of them are gerat and I REALLY love this one! Karen


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