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Corn Chowder with Coriander Pesto

This recipe is a lighter take on the classic corn chowder which uses cream and flour as ingredients.  I've vanished them  here but kept its lusciousness and thickness, enhanced by the punchy pesto which adds a super fresh touch.

The recipe for the pesto makes more than you need but keeps well in the fridge. Make sure to pour some extra virgin oil on top before you close the jar to avoid oxidation and to keep fresh for longer. I love this pesto inside blue cheese and Oaxaca cheese quesadillas made with flour tortillas or with spaghetti for a Mexican twist on an Italian classic.

Corn Chowder

Serves 4 as a starter


1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil

10 cm leek, white part, washed and cubed

1 stick celery, chopped in cubes

1/2 red pepper, deseeded, chopped in cubes

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 cms approx

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, I use organic frozen corn

4 cups vegetable stock

1 small bay leaf

Salt and pepper to taste

Coriander pesto and lime to serve


Heat the oil in a medium pot, add leek and celery and sauté for a couple of minutes until leek is translucent. Add garlic, red pepper and potatoes and sauté for 2 more minutes on medium heat. Add corn, stock and bay leaf and cover with a fitted lid. Cook slowly till potatoes are soft and season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf and blend partially with the aid of a stick blender; you want chunks here and there to add texture. Serve with coriander pesto and a squeeze of lime juice.

Coriander, Kale and Pecan Pesto

Yields: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients: 1 cup (packed) coriander leaves

1/2 cup coriander stalks, roughly chopped

1 cup baby kale leaves, loosely packed

2 garlic cloves

70 gr/ 1/2 cup pecan halves

70 gr grated pecorino cheese

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

finely grated zest of 1/2 a lime, and a squeeze of juice

Salt and pepper to taste


In a food processor add coriander (leaves and stalks) and baby kale and pulse till chopped finely but it hasn't turn into a paste. Add garlic and pecan nut halves and pulse again, then the cheese, lemon zest and a touch of juice (to enhance flavours) and with the motor still running the olive oil to create an emulsion. Season well with salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated.


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