RECIPE

End of Summer Vegetable Soup

This warm and wonderful soup filled with farmers’ market fresh ingredients is a perfect meal for the end of summer. Serve with Popper Croutons.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 ears corn
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • Finely chopped oregano or marjoram
  • 4 large or 6-8 small to medium heirloom tomatoes, various colors
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3-4 small ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large red or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds small, firm or seeded squash, such as zucchini or zucchini and yellow squash
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 Fresno or Italian red chili pepper, thinly sliced or seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 mild red or pale green frying peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound rainbow chard or kale leaves, very thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock

Preparation

Pre-heat the oven to 450°F.

Coat the corn ears with 2 tablespoons EVOO, salt, pepper and oregano or marjoram. Roast in the oven to brown the edges and develop the corn sugars. Let cool to handle. Scrape the kernels and reserve.

Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil. Score the tomato skins with a knife and add them to the boiling water for a count of 30. Remove to bowl of cold water and cool. Drain and peel; chop and reserve.

Heat a large Dutch oven or your favorite soup pot over medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO, a couple of turns of the pan. Add the carrots, celery and onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften them up a bit, then add in the zucchini, garlic, chilies, thyme, bay leaves and peppers. Cook the vegetables for 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently.

Add in the shredded chard or kale and let wilt. Stir in the reserved corn and tomatoes, along with the stock. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer to the desired flavor or consistency. Remove the bay leaf, adjust the seasonings and serve.

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Rachael Ray