I love all the fresh, organic sweet corn I’ve been getting in the CSA lately, but I was in search of a new way to eat it. I stumbled across this recipe from Serious Eats requiring corn (check) tomatoes (check) and potatoes (check)a and written by the vegetarian-savvy Madhur Jaffrey. I added a few vegetables of my own – summer squash and green beans – as well as some black pepper, and used two very potent jalapenos. Sadly, I had no cilantro or mint, but I added coriander and I think that with the extra spicy kick, the dish didn’t suffer. Result – delicious, and totally unexpected. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers.
Lately I’ve been loving cold grain salads with fresh vegetables. For this salad I boiled some of the red Incan Quinoa that I like, and added to it fresh heirloom tomatoes, green pepper and corn cut right off the cob. Just a dash of olive oil and some fresh lime juice, and this became a delicious cold salad full of grains, proteins and vegetables. The recipe was loosely based on that of the “stoplight salad” (red, yellow and green vegetables – get it?) from Simply in Season, which I’ve been turning to lately when trying to figure out how to quickly use as many seasonal vegetables as I can.
With the exception of our recent humid weather, it’s been a pretty cool, wet summer. Cool enough to turn on the stove, and even to make soup! I just couldn’t get tortilla soup out of my mind, but I wanted to use my fresh local vegetables. This soup was born, and let me tell you, it’s fantastic. It has a very rich flavor, but it full of good-for-you vegetables. As soon as we get another cool evening, give it a try. Replacing the traditional fried tortilla strips with low-fat corn chips makes the recipe healthier. Add good-fat avocado and goat cheese for added creaminess.
Summer Tortilla Soup
1 large onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. cardamom
1 small zucchini
2 ears of corn, kernels removed
2 heirloom tomatoes
3 sundried tomatoes
1 red habenero pepper, thinly sliced.
6 cups of vegetable broth
garnish with avocado, goat cheese, and corn chips
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot of saucepan. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook over medium-high heat until the onions soften and garlic becomes golden. Add the spices and stir to coat. Add the zucchini and corn and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and the sliced habenero pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove the vegetables from the heat. In a large blender or food processor, combine the vegetables with 2 cups of the broth. Blend until smooth, then return to the pan. Add the remaining 4 cups of broth, stirring well. Cover and heat through. Ladle in large bowls and garnish with slices of fresh avocado, crumbled goat cheese, and corn chips or fried tortilla strips.