Farm Fresh Recipe
This month's recipe comes from farm and food activist and author Amy Cotler. A longtime advocate of seasonal cooking and local eating, she is the founding director of Berkshire Grown, which became an early model for local farm and food advocacy. She consults, teaches and lectures nationally on food and farm to table issues. Be sure to check-out her most recent cookbook, The Locavore Way.
Celebration Corn-Tomato Soup
Serves 4 main course, 6
appetizers, makes about 6 cups
1 large onion
1 poblano chili
1 jalapano chili
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon butter
8 ears of corn
3 cups chicken stock*
1 cup milk, preferably whole
2-3 ripe tomatoes or 1 basket of cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar or cider vinegar
6-8 large basil leaves
1-Dice onion. (I like using
a sweet onion.) You’ll want 1-1/2 cups, but if you get less, don’t worry about
it. Cut the chilies end to end. Pull out the stem, knock or spoon out the
seeds. Cut into strips and dice. Peel and mince garlic cloves.
2-Melt butter over medium
heat in a pot or large skillet with a tall lip. Add the onion, chilies and most
of the garlic, reserving about 1/3 for later. Cook, stirring occasionally,
until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
3-Shuck the corn, then
remove the silk. Hold each cob, standing up by the large end in
bowl. Scrape down the kernels with a sharp knife to remove them, turning
as you work. Add kernels to the pot. (If the pot is the right shape, that is
more wide than tall, I like to turn off the heat and scrape the corn right into
4-Add chicken stock,
salting to taste if it’s homemade. (Less is better than more.) Simmer for 15
minutes. Add milk and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the juice of
the lemon, then taste, adding salt if necessary.
5-Remove the tops and chop
the tomatoes. Or, if using cherry tomatoes, half or quarter, as you like. Mix
in a small bowl with the reserved garlic and the vinegar. Pile the basil leaves
on top of each other and roll. Then slice thinly. Do not chill. Reserve the
tomatoes and basil for garnish.
6-To serve, heat the soup.
Ladle into the warm bowls. Spoon the tomato mixture into center of each bowl,
dividing it equally. Sprinkle with the basil.
Salt: I like adding salt several times,
but never too much. Most chefs add kosher of sea salt at various stages of
cooking so it gets integrated into the flavors, rather than layered on top at
the end. Recipes generally don’t do this, as it’s too much to talk about!) Soup
can be made and held in the fridge.
Recipe style: I integrated the ingredient
preparation into the numbered procedure, rather than adding it to the
ingredient list, as in “1-1/2 cups onion, diced”. This makes for a longer
recipe, but one with more explanation of chopping, dicing, etc. Do you prefer
one style over the other?
*For vegetarians, use
vegetable instead of chicken stock