Spicy tomato + sweetcorn soup recipe


There's been a lot of thoughts going round and round in my head about this online world lately, and while I'm not completely sure I should share them here, it kinda feels dishonest not to. Especially given a few things that have popped up in the media here in Australia recently. The online fakery and desperation that comes out online often has me questioning if this is really a world I want to be part of. Everyday we're bombarded with people trying to be seen, who will do anything to get their name out there/attract more followers/appear more amazing than others. (I mean, what happened to just sharing a Chocolate Brownie recipe, why does it all of a sudden have to be labelled as 'the best chocolate brownie in the world!'?). Really, who cares how many followers you have on Instagram? What does it matter in the big picture of life anyway? I'm super grateful for the followers I have, but attracting them has never been my number 1 goal in life. It seems that everyone's scrambling to be liked, will pay to get followers and are constantly trying to align themselves with big brands who will help to grow their online empire. But I can't help ask the question, why? And in the words of my 6 year old son, what matters? 

How do we live a life of honesty, where the things we do, we do because they feel real, not simply because we want to be seen doing it. Integrity is where it's at for me and it seems I'm not the only one staying up late at night thinking about it all. Here's a couple of great posts that have really spoken to me in the past day or so, here and here. I have a feeling there's probably a few of you out there who will love these as well.

Staying true to who I am and what I believe in has always been my number one. I share gluten-free recipes because that's how my family has eaten for the past 7 years, out of necessity. I don't buy into whatever is fashionable in that moment, cause where's the honesty in that? Donna Hay for gods sake, just published a 'healthy' edition of her magazine. On the one hand that's AMAZING (I do love Donna Hay don't get me wrong) and it's always great to see people encouraging healthy eating, but I question the motivations behind making such a magazine. You know the only reason it was published was to cash in on the current extremist 'heathy-eating' craze that's sweeping across our nation now don't you? 
I guess what I'm getting at is that I'm just gonna keep doing what I do as honestly as I can and in a way that feels right for me. It might not be all paleo, raw-vegan or sugar-free, but I can assure you it's damn good food. 

Spicy tomato + sweetcorn soup
You can find chipotle in adobo at selected specialist food stores and occasionally at some supermarkets (in NZ). It is an important flavouring to this soup, but if you really can't find any, a little smoked paprika and chilli powder would give a kinda similar effect. I buy the La Morena brand. Any leftovers will store happily in a glass jar in the fridge for months.
Serves 4.

6 tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
2 long red chillies, halved lengthwise + seeds removed
60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
750ml (3 cups) vegetable stock
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
3 corn cobs, kernels shaved off with a sharp knife
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Fine sea salt + freshly ground black pepper

Heat grill to it's highest setting. Place tomatoes cut side down on a large tray along with the red onion and chilli (cut side down also). Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 6-8 minutes, or until the skins blacken and blister. Remove skins from the tomatoes and chilli and roughly chop the lot.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil on a large saucepan. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add grilled vegetables to the pan, stirring well. Pour in vegetable stock, add bay leaves and chipotle. Bring to the boil and simmer 5 minutes. Add corn kernels and tomato paste and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, compost bay leaves, then using a stick blender blend the soup a little, making sure you leave some of the soup chunky and corn kernels whole. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Inspired by a recipe in Gourmet Traveller.

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  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 4:13 am

    Emma, I agree with you. I publish gluten free, vegetarian recipes that are a mix of healthy and definitely nowhere near healthy, because that's the way we eat in our house. I'm not trying to be trendy, I'm just trying to share my little piece of the world with my friends and family, and maybe some people looking for a rocking sugar rush from some awesome gluten free cupcakes. As long as my Mum reads my blog I'm happy and as for Facebook likes, I don't really care. I love the small community I have built around my blog, and the awesome people like you who I get to read and be inspired by.
    Never mind the trendy, keep what matters, what's important. Like a bowl of soup on a rainy summer night. Thanks Emma for the reality check and the delicious recipe as always.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 4:20 am

    Thanks so much Emma, that was such a timely read for me. Having just started out in this creative industry – it's so easy to get caught up in the appearance and forget the authenticity. Such a good reminder. In my opinion – a rant I'm very glad you've written!

    • Reply
      March 11, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Very well said, Elisabeth! 😀

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 5:12 am

    Emma, I had a feeling this post would be just what I needed to hear… and it was! Thanks for being honest, and yes, I admit that it is tempting to blog according to the latest fads… (though I draw the line at paleo), so thanks for the reminder to be authentic. 😉

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 5:47 am

    Integrity above all else! Thanks for your words Emma, the stories sweeping the media of late have been pretty disheartening x

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Thanks for writing this, Emma. I can only speak for myself, but I've been increasingly disenchanted and disengaged with the online world – particularly the food world – for some months now. I'm lucky to have an amazing community around me, for that I am so thankful. But the desire of many to pursue the cult of personality is, to me, very ugly, and I had to step away for a while. The news over the past few days is the perfect example of this coming to a head. A terrible, hairy, unforgivable head.

    About a week ago my creative juices started flowing again, out of sheer desire to say my piece and contribute something different to the world, regardless of whatever numbers come along with it. Your post today was very timely for me personally, and a reminder as to why I've adored reading along with you over the years. Thank you.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Thanks for your excellent rant, Emma. I've found myself caught up in the showy side of blogging recently, trying to follow those I idolised instead of just listening to myself, and it's debilitating. There is no creativity in it and no heart (for me). Your post is well needed and so refreshing. Plus who doesn't love a good rant now and then? X

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Spot on Emm! So pleased that you put this out there. Such an important topic that needs more attention. We have lost sight of what wholefood eating is and become obsessed with diets that are 'healthy living' extremes. Those in a position of social media power as such need to be more accountable. The mental/physical/emotional effect these social media accounts can have on their followers needs to be considered before how many likes or endorsements they can gain.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Yum, looks delicious – and real! My 6 year old son says "what matters" too…makes me laugh every time…where did that come from?

  • Reply
    london bakes
    March 11, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Thank you for this Emma and for the links you shared. It's something that I often struggle with and trying to work out where my place in this strange online world is when I can't be bothered/have no desire to engage in all the things that so many other people suggest that I should be doing and consider a mark of success. I always appreciate people like you who have that honesty + integrity running through everything that they do and show me that there is another way. PS this soup is just beautiful xo

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 9:47 am

    So very well said, Emma! You are doing a wonderful job here, especially because you keep this space real and honest (and because of your wonderful cooking, obviously). I find myself getting more and more disinterested in social media (although I still happily waste a lot of time there), but then I never REALLY got it in the first place. I don't like this polishing and selling that seems to be going on everywhere I look, not only when it comes to food, but crafting and creativity, simple living and lifestyle on the whole. It seems to be necessary to be professional at anything you ever attempt, despite all the declarations of the opposite.
    And yes, you are right: there are loads of brands and bloggers trying to make money out of the healthy eating trend. As much as I appreciate healthy eating becoming more popular, and therefore more easily available even in my little Danish town, I fear it becoming more of a "religious" movement than a healthy, down to earth attitude towards food and its impact on ourselves and the environment.
    I do hope you will keep on sharing with us, though! I'd miss your food and your point of view!
    Much love, E.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 11:01 am

    This looks super delicious 🙂 I'll try it for sure


  • Reply
    JJ - 84thand3rd
    March 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Darling Emma you may be one of the most real people I've ever met (seriously, I still recall chatting with you at EDB), and it's your blog so you may as well speak your mind! I totally agree with you re the DH mag – I'm seeing it everywhere and it makes me twitch a bit. I've really noticed the rise in inauthentic interactions – esp on IG – of late. All the shout-out for shout-out and such makes me cringe, and don't even get me started on the buying of followers – what's the point?! The other day someone messaged me saying they love my feed and wanted to feature me in theirs… for a fee. No f'ing way.

    My numbers may be low but I really enjoy the online friends I've made and can't be bothered with the rest of the rabble! That said I still think the choc cake on my blog really is the 'Best Ever Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake' and simply will not enter into any arguments to the contrary ;D xx

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    March 11, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I am all over this soup. It looks so yummy!

  • Reply
    Sylvie @ Roamingtaste
    March 11, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Oh thank you and an internet high five! Yes, in this world where so many people lack integrity it can be hard to remember our own integrity. Love love love this and that tomato soup looks like the perfect way to use up all the end of season tomatoes. Yum.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Thank you for posting this Emma. I am 6 months into food blogging and am discouraged/disappointed every day because I feel like I have to play some sort of a marketing game to be a part of the blogging world. The popular food bloggers say to publish "trendy" recipes, put up the right photos and use the right hashtags on twitter and instagram, etc, etc, in order to get noticed and gain followers. I just want to be true to myself and make good food, but that doesn't translate well online.
    Also, I recently participated in a recipe contest with a well known spice company and the winner was determined by votes through Facebook. The blogger who won the grand prize used an online voting system to gain extra votes, even though that was in direct violation of the rules. This happened almost 2 weeks ago and I still am not over it. I would rather be in last place and maintain my integrity and be true to myself then be dishonest and create an unethical playing field for others. Being first is not always the most important thing in life.

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    March 11, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    It is so true, that's my goal each week as I approach my blog is how to stay true to myself and do my work with integrity. It can be so challenging in this "grow grow grow" fast paced world where everyone seems to be trying to make a name for themselves, rather than create for the sake of benefiting others and being "true" to who they are. Thank you for this post, your words, your honesty, and your damn delicious food, as always, Emma. You are an inspiration <3

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    The soup looks absolutely fabulous. So yummy. And with the cold still carrying on here this would be the perfect recipe.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Emma, you are as authentic as they come + these words are spot on. Also, what damn good food it is, xo!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    This post is so inspiring, Emma! I've had similar feelings about the internet lately, but when I consider giving up, I remember that blogging is my passion… something I truly love to do. Why should I let other people get in the way of that?
    And I so respect that you post for yourself… Often I lose followers for sharing photos of my travels or a random bunch of flowers I thought were lovely. But it isn't about them, it's about what makes me happy.

    I love that you speak the truth on your blog, and don't hide your opinions. It's refreshing.

    Also, this soup looks delicious. Love! xx

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks for your words Emma and for keeping your posts real and true to yourself and what you stand for. I love the look of this soup 🙂

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    emma – i appreciate your intention and viewpoint in this post, i really do. and i realize that your questions are rhetorical, but to answer it broadly: the why and what matters is because who doesn't want to mimic the success and receive the accolades you've achieved online and for your book? and with all due respect, i think it's easy for someone with the numbers already and the backing of those numbers to bemoan the authenticity and integrity of others, when they're trying to get some measure of recognition too.
    i feel like i should add before i get flamed: i agree with everything you've said in your post, but i can see the other side too.

    • Reply
      March 12, 2015 at 1:10 am

      Thanks for your comment Lan, I appreciate your viewpoint and fair call on it being easier for me to bemoan these things that say, a new blogger. However, I would have written this post whether I had 300 IG followers or 30k. The point I'm trying to make is that I don't get why bloggers are so desperately trying to grow their numbers, in an un-authentic way. If you are trying to attract a book deal, then for sure, try your hardest to grow your numbers, but do it in a genuine way; work your arse off, create amazing content, take great photos, have a unique voice. It hasn’t been an easy ride for me by any means. My readership has grown simply because I put in the work to share great content and connect with my readers. I don't buy followers, boost posts (other than one in 5 years which was when my book came out) and I don't shout out to big accounts on IG in the hopes that they will then feature me. Each to their own, but this is not something I want to be part of. I don't look at bigger, more well-known bloggers than me and think 'how can I get to where they are', they are all there because they’ve worked hard and in the case of a few of them they are there because they started blogging before the rest of the pack and there’s nothing any of us can do about that. Also FYI, when I got my book deal I didn't have a huge social media following (I wasn’t even on IG until just over a year ago) and my blog stats were not massive. It is possible to achieve this so-called ‘success’ without losing your integrity or pretending to be someone you’re not.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Amen to this post. This whole having a life on the internet thing gets me so far down, sometimes. Sure it can be incredibly rewarding and inspiring (especially when I get to meet people like YOU in real life), but it's also a little disheartening to be surrounded by people whose main objective is to have alllllllll the followers. As for this soup, so happy to see it's what you did with those beautiful tomatoes you posted on instagram. It looks delicious, lady. XX

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Thata girl:)

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    It's so refreshing to hear a real voice expressing real thoughts that aren't just about look-how-great-my-life-is-b.s. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings so openly. Wonderful!

    I must say though, I have 0 problems with Donna Hay or Jamie Oliver or any other high profile foodie going 'vegan/light/fresh/gf' or whatever else the current buzz word is. They are running a business and responding to what the public want; good for them.

    Would I ever do shout-outs, request people to tag someone who might like my post or do a follow for follow request? Nope, but I don't mind bloggers who do. To each their own :).
    Thanks again for giving me food for thought.
    Wishing you well.

  • Reply
    Lucy Corry - The Kitchenmaid
    March 11, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Beautifully said, Emma, as always (and oh, those tomatoes! Can I say that that's the BEST Ever Shot Of Tomatoes I've Seen Today?!) It's funny in a way – I wrote something for a mag recently about being an 'ordinary eater' – ie, not part of some kind of 'movement', while acknowledging there are people who do need to 'eat differently' – and the feedback has been really amazing. I think that the only way is to hold fast to your own authenticity, because the people who don't will be outed in the end. Or they'll choke on their own superlatives (and that's not a kind of supplement!) x

  • Reply
    Cate Lawrence
    March 11, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    i've been thinking a lot about these issues and felt compelled to write a little myself tonight http://atravellingcook.com/2015/03/the-integrity-of-blogging-in-the-time-of-the-super-blogger.html

  • Reply
    Lila Wolff
    March 11, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    So much agreement for this "why does it have to be the best chocolate brownie in the world!'?" the hyperbole and hype are another big key to the surging problems.
    I would much rather decide what the best ever recipe is myself, it almost feels like a race to conform and all be uniquely the same.
    Thank-you so much for linking to my post I'm glad it connected with you.

  • Reply
    The InTolerant Chef ™
    March 12, 2015 at 2:47 am

    Great recipe ans perfect for the tomato and corn in my veggie patch right now 🙂 I agree that a lot of people are obsessed with numbers when it comes to blogging and I admit to only very occasionally feeling a bit left out when I meet other bloggers who rattle off impressive statistics. I just want to blog about food that makes me happy, if anyone is interested that makes me happy too but I won't worry about numbers to much if that makes me miserable 🙂

  • Reply
    March 12, 2015 at 10:12 am

    I love the pic of the roast tomatoes, chilli and onion so much. I can't stop looking at it!

  • Reply
    Steve Puu
    March 13, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks for the easy, healthy recipe. I am going to try it now.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    What matters to me, Emma is that you and your fellow bloggers keep publishing your beautiful recipes and accompanying stories. You enrich my life. Thank you for that.

  • Reply
    The Life of Clare
    March 14, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Emm, this last week has been nuts hasn't it! I was honoured to meet you at EDB (with stars in my eyes) and find you so lovely and down to earth. I understand that people need to eat certain diets for various reason but I've started feeling guilty about posting a sugar laden white flour muffin recipe. Even though this is what I bake and eat at home (in moderation of course). My IG followers have grown recently, which makes me super excited, but it's due to me working me arse off and taking good photos.

    Thank you for saying your piece and settling the feeling at the pit of my stomach. The one that was making me feel like I don't belong because I can't create raw/vegan/paleo desserts.

  • Reply
    Sev @Layla Cafe
    March 16, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Fantastic! This is something I should try. This soup looks new to me as well as having a spicy tomato on my plate seems interesting. Easy find ingredients so i am going to make them.

  • Reply
    Samantha G
    March 17, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    THIS is more of what we need out in the ether! I agree that it's frustrating to see the contrived, fake, 'perfection' out there, so as tough as it is – please keep doing what you're doing to help bring balance to that craziness! If anything, your post/honesty/lack of obsession over followers makes me want to try all your recipes, buy your book, and follow all your social media channels as a refreshing breath of authenticity. 🙂 Please keep it up!

  • Reply
    Deborah Hide-Bayne
    March 18, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Hi Emma
    I love the honesty of your posts… I want simple recipes and someone who I can identify with; someone who doesn't have a perfect life, someone who doesn't make me feel s**t in comparison. I like your blog… long may it continue.

  • Reply
    erin {yummysupper}
    March 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Emma! You have been on my mind so much lately and I keep meaning to jot you an email to check in.

    I'm so glad you addressed some of these issues with our online world. I have to say… mostly I just want to retreat to quiet cooking with my little family and digging in the dirt in my backyard. There is just waaaayyy too much noise, anger, posing out there.
    "Damn good food" is where it's at woman. Well put.

    Sending much love to you and that cute family of yours!

  • Reply
    Janet NZ
    March 18, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    My inactive-for-a-year blog recently experienced a "spike in activity" and gained 7 new followers.
    I wanted to contact each of those people and tell them not to 'follow' me, as I have NO idea where I am going! Lol
    My blog will remain inactive. It's simply not for me.
    I love you. Your honesty and integrity shine through and always have done, and a 6 year old who asks 'what matters?' has blood worth bottling.

  • Reply
    Nishu S
    March 19, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Beautiful words Emma. I believe jealousy and competition is a part of human nature. We all do feel the vibes at some point in our lives but what's important is how to overcome those feelings with positive thoughts and gratitude. To not let those feelings take over our life, our happiness and integrity.

  • Reply
    March 22, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Lovely post – and a gorgeous looking soup, just in time for autumn.

  • Reply
    March 22, 2015 at 8:20 am

    What a great and very honest post. I think it's something many of us have been thinking and feeling worn down by! I recently quit (as in deleted everything and everybody and closed it down) my facebook account, I set my instagram account to private and did a huge cull of who I was following, and have drastically reduced the blogs I follow down to a handful ( surprisingly the ones left belong to the most honest, down to earth folk you could still hope to find in the blogging world). I've got to say it felt amazing! I realised how much I was starting to compare my own life to the supposed picture perfect lives of many. A real case of keeping up with the Joneses. Anyway that aside, I recently had a good rummage through your blog and have tried some of your recipes. Delicious! Can't wait to try more. Thank you. xx

  • Reply
    Veggie Mama
    March 30, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Oh it's been weird. So weird. It drve me even further offline, where the internet doesn't matter. Bad for someone in my line of work, but essential for my human self!

  • Reply
    Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
    April 1, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Amen, sister. You have to filter a lot of sites/people/companies these days. When you write from a place of truth, from the heart, without agenda (other than to share that darn brownie recipe for others to enjoy), that's what lasts & resonates. This soup looks outrageously good x

  • Reply
    April 7, 2015 at 3:21 am

    Emma, what a great post, such true words… I am just back downsouth after a month away and your post of soup comes at a great time as the grey clouds and rain flood my day. As for the internet and blogging surely we do it for the love of sharing, not to be counting numbers, hoping that those who you want to share it with have found your post, and if there are others interested well that is great… Love your blog and book which travels with me as I travel as a chef on a yacht, please keep posting and I hope one day when I come through Perth to go downsouth I will have the opportunity to meet you one day !

  • Reply
    Ellen Scott
    July 21, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I do agree with you that your spicy tomato & sweetcorn soup is definitely sugar-free. I have it twice a week for dinner for several weeks and my diabetes gradually comes down. Yet, I do not use chili, onion just plain tomato for the soup. For my children, I add some pieces of cheese except salt and pepper. I also use some mint leaves for decor which can give an edge to my son's appetite.

  • Reply
    July 22, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Tomato and sweetcorn soup is the most desirable appetizer in the world. For my recipe, I often use more tomato than the rest. I just add some sweet corn seeds. I often peel the tomato for my morning soup even some may think the tomato skin also contains vitamin A and mineral. Your recipe will be more suitable for my parties to feed more kinds of mouth. I will bookmark the link. Thanks for sharing. Helpful, really.

  • Reply
    August 6, 2015 at 4:31 am

    Great tips, Loving your post :D, we all need a way to make life easier sometimes Thanks

  • Reply
    October 14, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Oh, today it's raining and cool. I think your Spicy tomato + sweetcorn soup recipe are the best choose for my family dinner moment.

  • Reply
    Vivarais K.
    November 9, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Just admiring your work and wondering how you managed this blog so well. It’s so remarkable that I can't afford to not go through this valuable information whenever I surf the internet!

  • Reply
    David Nolen
    June 25, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    I don't like spicy food so much, but my mom really adore them…..However, spicy tomato and sweetcorn soup is special combination….Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Reply
    Dirty Karma
    July 19, 2016 at 12:57 am

    It looks fantastic. I'll try to do it. Thanks for sharing!

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