Sweetcorn soup with scallops and pickled red onions

Sweetcorn soup with scallops and pickled red onions

By
From
Everyday Seafood
Serves
4 as a starter or light lunch

This is a brilliant soup to make in late summer when fresh sweetcorn is at its best. It proved a real crowd pleaser when I served little bowls of it in the restaurant as a pre-dinner amuse bouche. Beautiful seared scallops complement the sweetcorn flavour perfectly, while the pickled red onions cut the richness and stop the soup becoming too sweet.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
12 fresh scallops, shelled and cleaned, (roes retained if in good condition)
4 corn on the cobs
olive oil, for cooking and to drizzle
75g unsalted butter
4 teaspoons chopped coriander leaves
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the pickled red onions

Quantity Ingredient
2 small red onions, peeled and finely sliced into rings
100ml red wine
100ml red wine vinegar
100g caster sugar
100ml water

Method

  1. Cut the sweetcorn kernels from the cobs, by standing the cobs upright on a board and cutting downwards with a sharp knife.
  2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil and the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the sweetcorn. Cook for 15–20 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes so the corn toasts at the edges but does not burn. Pour in enough water to barely cover it and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes until the sweetcorn is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the pickled onions. Put the red onion slices into a bowl. Heat the wine, wine vinegar, sugar and water in a small pan to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil. Add a pinch of salt and pour this pickling liquor over the onion slices. Cover and leave to cool.
  4. When the corn is tender, blitz with the cooking liquor in a blender, or using a stick blender in the pan, for 3–4 minutes until smooth. Return to the pan (if necessary) and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as you like. If the soup is too thick, add a little more water. Leave over a low heat while you cook the scallops.
  5. Heat a large non-stick pan frying pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Season the scallops with salt and place, one by one, in the hot pan, remembering where you placed the first one. Cook for 2 minutes until golden, then carefully flip them over in the same order you placed them in the pan. Take off the heat and allow the scallops to finish cooking in the residual heat.
  6. Drain the pickled onions (you can save the pickling liquor to use again).
  7. Bring the soup back to a simmer and divide between 4 warmed bowls. Place 3 scallops in each bowl and add some pickled red onion slices and a scattering of chopped coriander. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately.
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