For some reason, whenever we return from a weekend in Vermont, Mr. EatDrink boldly proclaims that he is going to make a pot of soup to take to work for the rest of the week. More often than not, this is a false declaration, but this past week, he actually followed through. It was a joint effort, actually. He did most of the prep work and I did the cooking part. I didn’t expect much from this soup; it sounded rather average. But I have to say, it was perhaps one of the best soups I’ve ever had. The combination of the acidity of the ripe tomatoes and the sweetness of the fresh corn made for a very vibrant, summery dish. It’s great on its own, or even better paired with a grilled cheese sandwich. You’ll want to keep this recipe on hand now that we’re coming into tomato and corn season.
TOMATO, CORN AND BASIL SOUP
Makes 12 servings.
From Marjorie Druker and Clara Silverstein’s “New England Soup Factory Cookbook.”
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 large Spanish onions, peeled and diced
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 large, ripe, red tomatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
3 cups tomato juice
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
1 bunch chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
kernels from 5 ears corn
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a stockpot, heat the butter or olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and sauté an additional five minutes. Add the stock, tomato juice and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft and tender.
Add the sugar, fresh basil and vinegar.
Puree the soup in the pot, using a hand blender or working in batches with a regular blender until smooth. Add the corn kernels to the soup and return the pot to medium-high heat. Simmer for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until the corn is cooked and the soup is heated through. Season with salt and pepper.