I love soup. I especially love it when it’s chunky and hearty and full of herbs. Although, I hear that if it’s chunky, it should be called stew, but that’s neither here nor there. My family and I are on a budget, as is most of the country, so when I see something that’s relatively inexpensive, plus it makes enough for us to eat for a couple days, well, it’s on like Donkey Kong.
This soup was incredibly easy to make. I’m pretty sure that even the people who claim they ‘can’t even boil water’ can make this soup. All it entails is a bunch of chopping, then sauteeing, then boiling. I took the recipe from Veganomicon (and made minor changes) which is slowly but surely becoming my most-used cookbook. It really is a page-turner people! You should check it out. It encompasses every type of recipe you’d want, with only a few you might not. (Um, borscht? Yuk.)
Midsummer Corn Chowder with Basil, Tomato, and Fennel (p144)
6 ears fresh corn, husked, silk removed, and de-kerneled(or a 16 oz. bag of frozen works nicely, too)
3 tbsp olive oil (I often wish recipe authors would stop telling me how much olive oil to use, because I always end up using three times what they tell me to)
3 cloves garlic (remember me? the gal who loves garlic? I used 6 cloves)
1 large onion, diced fine (i used sweet onion)
1 small bulb fennel, diced fine
1 stalk celery, diced fine
1 large carrot, diced
1 lb potatoes, diced (I used Yukon gold. No, I did not peel them, I just washed them really well)
2 tsp dried thyme
2 qts corn stock, or veggie broth (I used veggie broth)
For when the soup is done cooking:
1 lb tomatoes, seeded then chopped (I used plum tomatoes)
1/3 cup fresh basil leave, cut into thin strips
salt and pepper to taste
So, I’m a lotta Giada in that I salt and pepper every layer of what I’m cooking. Time for carrots? Toss in some salt. Now it’s time for potatoes? A little more salt please. She’s got the right idea on this and I’m a gal who doesn’t usually like salt, salty items, nor do I use salt in my cooking if I can avoid it. Usually. Certainly not for health reasons mind you, I just never really liked things that were salty. My husband, on the other hand, will put salt on pizza. He’s kind of gross, in my opinion. However, things like casseroles, stews, and of course chowders that are full of fresh veggies, definitely need salt.
Heat up that olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed soup pot. Why heavy bottomed? Who knows. Maybe our author has a fondness for heavy bottoms. Anyways, for this recipe, you pretty much go down the list of items, starting with the garlic, and throw them in the hot oil to sautee. Now, the garlic only needs to be sauteed alone for about 30 seconds. Everything after will take about five minutes per item. And remember: a little salt and pepper to taste after each addition never hurt anybody.
Once it’s all done sauteeing, you pour in your vegetable stock. Bring it all to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and let sit for about five minutes to take the edge off the boil. Next, take your immersion blender and put it in the middle, then blend here or there for a minute or so. You still want this soup chunky, so not too much immersion blending, okay?
When you are finished, toss in the tomatoes and basil, then reheat for about 5 or 10 minutes. Gorgeous AND delicious! I would serve this with grilled cheeze or a nice little sala maybe, although I’d rather have the grilled cheeze.
Next time, I may experiment with Mimcreme, just to see how it tastes and thickens. At the end, you could also finish this off with big plap of Earth Balance if you wanted, just for a little extra flavor and creaminess.