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« Hearty Three-Bean Baked Beans a Winner | Main | Cold Cure Soup »

Sweetcorn Chowder Perfect Food for Chilly Day


The tortillas we use here are those crisp, crunchy, corn-gritty triangles that somehow always feel like a guilty pleasure. Although having said that, I know only that "guilty pleasures" exist, but I have never understood the point of feeling guilty about pleasure. Rather, I see plenty of reasons for feeling guilty about failing to take pleasure in things.

When I plan to make this, I tend to take a big pack of frozen corn out of the deep freeze at breakfast time, in readiness for a super-quick, fantastically soothing, mellow-yellow and very pleasing supper that night.

Use whatever cheese you like; mostly I go for Cheddar since I always have some in the fridge, but I am happy about using up other bits and pieces. If children are eating, it's wise to omit the chillis - unless they're being very annoying.


Serves: 6

  • 6 cups frozen sweetcorn kernels (defrosted)
  • 3 scallions (debearded and halved)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled)
  • ¼ cup semolina
  • 6 cups hot vegetable broth (made from concentrate or cube)
  • 14 ounces lightly salted tortilla chips
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 long red chiles (deseeded and finely chopped (optional))


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Drain the sweetcorn and put into a food processor with the scallions, garlic and semolina. Blitz to a speckled primrose mush; unless you have a big processor you may have to do this in two batches.
  3. Tip this mixture into a large saucepan, add the hot vegetable broth and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and let the chowder simmer, partially covered for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, spread the tortilla chips out on a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle the cheese over. Warm in the hot oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese melts over the chips.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and put a small mound of cheese-molten chips into the middle of each bowl. Sprinkle some of the red chilli on top, if you feel like it, and serve immediately to very grateful people.