This is our second Baby Corn Soup; this one includes green beans for added crunch and fresh taste. It is another soup from Vol 4 of Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See, written by her daughter Priya Ramakumar. They are reminiscent of, say, 1970’s style soups – simple, no fuss, delicious. many of them (but not this one) are Anglo-Indian. I adore them – they are such a contrast to other elements of Indian cuisine.
As explained in previous posts, Soups as we know them are uncommon in India. But in South Indian, the TamBram community does make some very simple and un-spiced soups, probably influenced by the British, and perfect for using up left over odds and sods of vegetables.
Rather than being served in large bowls like we might serve a soup, it is served in small bowls, unaccompanied by crusty bread, grated cheese, olive oil for drizzling, or croutons. Actually, it is a really nice beginning to a hot and spicy meal.
Several of the soups in this volume of Cook and See show the growing love for Chinese food in India at the time that the volume of recipes was written. The nod to Chinese fare is created by a drizzle of soy sauce on top of the soup. Baby corn, after all, is associated (probably incorrectly) in many countries as being quintessential Chinese. This Indo-Chinese cuisine is very popular.
Baby corn is available at most Asian Grocery shops.
Similar recipes include Baby Corn Padoka, Indian Soup with Drumstick Leaves, Indo-Chinese Sweetcorn Soup, Thai Style Green Beans and Baby Sweetcorn in Coconut Sauce, South Indian Baby Corn Soup, and South Indian Spring Onion Soup.
This soup can be served with soy sauce as above, or with cream and black pepper, as in the picture below.
South Indian Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Soup
6 baby corn
2 spring onions (green onions), chopped small
0.5 cups green beans, chopped
500 ml – 750 ml vegetable stock or water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tblspn Ghee or butter
soy sauce (optional)
Chop each baby corn into two or three.
In a deep frying pan, heat the butter or ghee and add the chopped baby corn, spring onions and beans. Shallow fry them for 5 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock or water, and salt to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Top with either soy cause, or black pepper and cream.
recipe notes and alternatives
If vegetable stock is not available, finely chop a bunch of coriander (cilantro) and some chives and add to the soup with some water. Also add some white pepper at that stage.