Friday, 14 August 2009

Corn & Tomato Soup

Rather oddly, soup seems to be a recurring theme this summer. Here it is again, in a very simple vegetarian version this time.

I'm always going on about this, but as with all my other very simple dishes, be sure to use really excellent ingredients. Super fresh, tender corn and ripe, flavourful juicy tomatoes, because if they aren't terrific, there's so little else there to cover for them. They have to be good. My tomatoes were Stupice, a rather small but early ripening tomato, with good but not too sweet flavour. I used 10 of them, and they amounted to about 2 cups, which I tell you because tomatoes do vary a great deal in size.

8 servings
30 minutes prep time

Corn and Tomato Soup
6 cobs of corn
8 to 12 medium-small tomatoes
3 bay leaves
2 good sprigs of fresh basil (optional)
1 or 2 stalks of celery
3 or 4 shallots
1 tablespoon sunflower seed oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
black pepper

Put a large pot of water on to boil. While it heats, husk the corn. When the water boils, blanch the tomatoes for about a minute to a minute and a half, then remove them to the sink or a bowl. Put the corn and the bay leaves into the same pot of boiling water and cook it for 5 or 6 minutes, until just barely tender - the corn, not the bay leaves.

While the corn cooks, slip the skins off of the tomatoes, and cut out the stem end cores. Put the tomatoes into a food processor, with the basil.

Wash the celery and chop it fairly coarsely. Peel the shallots and slice them. Sauté them in the oil over medium heat, until soft and just starting to brown. Put them in the food processor with the tomatoes.

Once the corn is done, lift it out of the water and put it into cold water until it is cool enough to handle. Drain it well, then cut the kernals from 4 of the cobs of corn and put them in the food processor with the tomatoes, and 1 cup of the cooking water, the salt and pepper. Process until fairly smooth. (This is a soup that will always have a certain amount of texture.)

Measure out and save 3 more cups of cooking water from the corn, and discard the rest. (Keep the bay leaves for the moment.) Add the puréed vegetables and bay leaves to the reserved cooking water, and return the mixture to the stove, and bring it back to a simmer while you cut the corn from the remaining 2 cobs of corn, and add the the corn kernals to the soup. Remove the bay leaves, adjust the seasonings, be sure it is hot through, and serve.

Last year at this time I made Roasted Green Beans and Turkish Zucchini Pancakes (Mucver) which, by the way, I highly recommend .

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