I came up with this soup as a way to savor the waning days of summer sunshine by incorporating all sorts of yellow vegetables, roasted, baked and sautéed. The soup is naturally vegan, but has a lovely creaminess due to the “milky” nature of the corn and the addition of sweet potato. The base of a great soup is almost always dictated by the quality of the stock. I started with 4 ears of corn, removed the corn and used the stock to create the first layer of flavor. Corn is so evocative of a beautiful summer evening, so I thought it was a perfect place to start. You could garnish the soup with many different flavors, but I thought the avocado cream added the perfect color and dash of extra creaminess to the soup.
Yield 4 hearty bowls
- 4 ears of fresh corn, cleaned, removed from Cobb, cobbs reserved
- 1 medium sweet onion, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 medium sweet potato, roasted
- 2 large yellow tomatoes, or about 2 cups chopped yellow cherry tomatoes
- 1 yellow squash, diced
- 1 large yellow pepper, roasted and skin removed
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 small avocado
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk (substitute water for vegan version)
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- sliced radish for garnish, optional
- toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish, optional
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- dash of cayenne, optional for heat
- kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Remove kernels from the Cobb, reserving corn. Place cobs and 4 cups of water with 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a large stockpot with 2 tablespoons of oil, add chopped onion and garlic. Sauté for several minutes, stirring frequently until tender. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, add chopped squash and corn and continue to sauté on medium heat, allowing flavors to meld for another 5 -10 minutes, then add chopped tomatoes, until they begin to release their juices. Add sweet potato flesh and roasted peppers to pot. Pour stock through a mesh sieve, and discard cobs. Pour strained stock into soup pot and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmering for about 30 additional minutes until all vegetables are tender. Add cumin, cayenne and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Transfer soup to food processor once cooled a bit, or to a blender. Process in batches if necessary until soup is quite smooth. Transfer soup back into pot and heat to desired temperature.
Avocado cream: In a small bowl, combine avocado, cilantro, lime, 1/2 teaspoon salt together. Add 1 tablespoon of buttermilk to thin mixture (substitute water for vegan option) until avocado is mixture has creamy consistency. Ladle soup in bowls, garnish with sliced radish, pumpkin seeds and drizzle a bit of avocado crema in the center. Enjoy immediately.