september 14, 2021
September is the last hurrah for locally grown corn. The sweetness, the crunch, the flavor are all best in the summer months. However, corn products can be enjoyed all year long, like polenta and grits. I feel ready to bid adieu to fresh local corn and welcome autumn fruits and vegetables. This Smoky Tomato Corn Soup lingers in your memory as a late summer best.
Mirepoix Makes the Difference
Tomato corn soup is made of tomato and corn, right? Actually, the underlying flavor comes from a boatload of mirepoix vegetables, cooked to tenderness with a little olive oil before tomatoes are added. Standard mirepoix consists of two parts onion and one part each carrot and celery. Sweet onion is mentioned in nearly all recipes published here at River City Good Eats, especially since sweet onion cooks quickly and lacks that sulfuric acid onion aftertaste.
Underlying all that vegetable goodness is the sultry smoked Spanish paprika added with garlic after vegetables are cooked to tenderness. Regular paprika adds color and a mild flavor, but smoked paprika adds flavor explosion. A little is all you need.
This summer soup is good heated, chilled or at room temperature.
Smoky Tomato Corn Soup
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes 6-8 servings
1 ⅓ cup finely diced sweet onion
⅔ cup finely diced carrot
⅔ cup finely diced celery, including interior leaves if available
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
large pinch finely ground white pepper
large clove garlic, zested on microplane grater
1 teaspoon smoked spanish paprika
28 ounce can diced tomato
3 or more cups best quality vegetable stock
kernels from two ears fresh corn, about ½ cup set aside for garnish
optional additional garnishes : raw pepitas, cilantro leaves
- Combine onion, carrot and celery with olive oil, salt and pepper in heavy two quart saucepan over medium high heat.
- When mixture begins to sizzle, reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes, adjusting heat to avoid browning.
- Add garlic and smoked paprika and stir until fragrant, about 5 seconds.
- Add tomatoes and 3 cups stock, bring to boil and then simmer on low heat, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
- Use immersion stick blender to carefully puree in pan off heat (alternately, carefully puree all in food processor), then place back on burner; add a little more stock if you like more broth.
- Add corn and bring to simmer again, cooking until corn is tender, about 10 more minutes.
- For best flavor, make ahead at least several hours.
- Serve chilled, at room temperature, or heated.
- Garnish as desired with reserved corn kernels, pepitas and cilantro leaves.