I don’t know about ya’ll, but my garden is looking pretty pathetic right about now.
I can’t complain. Given the luck we have had during summers past, our garden has actually performed better than usual. However, after enduring blistering heat in July and August, I really think it’s time to put the remaining plants that have hung in there out of their misery and allow them to rest in peace in the great Compost Bin in the Sky.
I have had this soup recipe bookmarked for at least a year. I thought it would be great way to take advantage of the last of summer’s bounty. Sweet corn is still available at the farmer’s market – for the moment. My basil plant is still producing a few edible leaves. And my tomato plant has been turning out a few sickly, scraggly looking tomatoes that aren’t necessarily pretty enough to make me want to slice it up and eat it raw with a little salt and pepper, but perfect for cooking down into a rich, late summer soup.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
- 5 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 large red, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
- 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 3 cups tomato juice
- 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
- ¼ cup vermouth or white wine, optional
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 bunch chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespon balsamic vinegar
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Kernels from three ears of corn
- Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired
- Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and sauté for ten minutes or until vegetables become tender.
- Add tomatoes and sauté for five minutes.
- Add the chicken or vegetable stock, tomato juice, and tomato paste and white wine or vermouth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.
- Stir in sugar, basil leaves, vinegar, and cayenne pepper. Puree the sound using an immersion blender or allow the soup to cool slightly and then process in small batches in a blender until smooth.
- Return the soup to the pot. Add the corn kernels and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Continue to cook for 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.*
- Remove pot from heat and stir in heavy cream. Garnish individual bowls with Parmesan cheese.