Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Corn and Vegetable Soup

Sorry everyone about the long pause in between postings. It may be like this for the next couple of weeks as my husband and I reach our last month of pregnancy. We are about to start month 9 and I'm finding it a little bit harder to stay focused. I have also been working on my book quite a bit, as well as a few other things, so my next couple of postings may just be recipes and not much else. Anyways, the recipe I'm posting today was something I made quite quickly with a whole lot of extra veggies I had in the refrigerator. This soup is a great way to use up all the extras that come from gardening friends. The list of ingredients is a little long, but it is very easy to make and delicious. I used my stripped corn cobs to make a light stock for the soup, but any vegetable stock can be used. Just make sure your stock is not salted. You want to do the seasoning, not the company making the stock. I also like to scrape the corn cobs once the kernels have been removed. Scraping removes the extra bits of corn still attached inside those little individual cells on the cob, and also removes a very tasty sort of corn cream that comes along with the little pieces. This step really makes a differenc in the end product, so don't skip it.

Summer Corn and Vegetable Soup

For the Corn Stock
-3 ears sweet corn, kernels removed and set aside, cobs saved
-1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
-4 cups water

Scrape the corn cobs with the back of your knife to remove the hidden bits of leftover corn kernels, as well as the creamy corn milk. Place with the reserved corn kernels. Put the cobs into a large soup pot along with the chopped onion and the water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Strain and set aside to use for the soup. This should make 3 - 3 1/2 cups stock.

For the Soup
-1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or butter (butter is best when it comes to anything involving sweet corn)
-1 medium red or yellow onion, diced small
-2 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
-reserved corn kernels from cobs, or about 2 cups
-3 - 3 1/2 cups corn stock or vegetable stock
-1 crookneck or Gold Bar squash, diced small
-1 zucchini, diced small
-1 cup thinly sliced green beans
-1/2 cup green peas, defrosted if using frozen
-1 ripe tomato, diced small
-1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
-1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
-salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the extra virgin olive oil or butter in a soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add in the onion and cook until it begins to slightly soften, about 3 minutes. Add in the potatoes and cook about 3-4 minutes more. Add in the corn and the stock. Bring to a simmer, and gently cook until the potatoes become tender. Remove from the heat. Transfer half of the soup to the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade. Roughly puree and add back to the pot with the other half of the soup. Alternately, smash half of the soup with a potato masher until you obtain a rough consistency, or even use a hand held blender to puree half of the soup in the pot. Return the pot to medium heat.

Bring back to a simmer and add in the green beans, squash, and fresh green peas if using. Cook about 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables become tender. Add in the defrosted green peas (if using instead of fresh), diced tomato, and fresh herbs. Heat through and season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve hot.

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