Shrimp and Sweetcorn Soup

This delectable soup, containing sweetcorn, shrimps, cucumber and bean sprouts, makes warming first course to a dinner party. Accompanied by crusty French bread and butter, the soup may also be served as a light lunch.2 oz. butter

3 shallots, very finely chopped

8 oz. bean sprouts, washed and coarsely chopped J small cucumber, chopped

14 oz. canned

sweetcorn, drained

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1-½ teaspoons salt ;1 teaspoon white pepper 2 pints home-made chicken stock

1 tablespoon arrowroot, dissolved in

2 tablespoons water

1 lb. frozen peeled shrimps, thawed and drained

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the shallots and fry, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until they are soft and translucent but not brown.

Add the bean sprouts and cucumber and fry, stirring frequently, for a further 4 minutes. Stir in the sweetcorn, chives, soy sauce, salt and pepper and pour over the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the dissolved arrowroot and the shrimps and cook the soup, stirring constantly, for a further 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Ladle the soup into a warmed soup tureen or individual soup bowls and serve im-mediately.