Corn. Red potatoes. Fresh green beans. Cherry tomatoes. Kale. All of these vegetable gems are in season now, and all of them are in this soup. Sometimes it can be hard to a) figure out how to make use of all of the fresh produce available in late August/early September and b) figure out what to make for lunch or supper everyday. If you make this soup, you’ll have dealt with two challenges in one blow…or should I say, bowl (ba dum, ching! I’ll be here all week).
This soup makes a massive amount, but that’s intentional. The point is to make something that uses up a lot of summer produce, eat some of it now, and freeze the rest. Then in about four months, when you are dreaming of fresh local vegetables and counting calendar days until the farmer’s market begins again, you can clap yourself on the back (metaphorically, although I suppose you could also do it literally) and say, “Emily (or whatever your name is), you magnificent son-of-a-gun, you have amazing soup in your freezer that is just bursting with summer flavours. How clever you are.” So in the end you’ll be self-congratulatory and full, and that’s not a bad place to be.
To all of this I should add, this soup is flexible – ingredient-wise, I mean. Have zucchini? Throw it in. Have lots of carrots? Put them in as well. I used barley in my soup, but you could use your favourite gluten-free grain, such as millet or quinoa. You could replace the lentils with another kind of bean. This soup is but a roadmap – a directional suggestion.
But I would recommend making it. You really will thank yourself in a few months, and I don’t know what it is, but to me nothing says summer soup like corn, sliced right off the cob, and cooked in the soup broth itself. Summer corn is so sweet, so juicy, so charming and yellow. Ah, I’m getting carried away.
- Author: Backyard Owl
- Recipe Notes: vegan, option for gluten-free, wheat-free, option for soy-free
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 medium-size red potatoes, diced into small cubes
- 6 ears (cobs?) of corn
- 5 cups chopped green beans
- 3-4 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half + 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 14 cups water
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup your favourite grain (i.e. barley, millet, quinoa, brown rice)
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 5-8 cloves of garlic, sliced/diced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- OPTIONAL FOR SEASONING: 2 tablespoons lemon juice; 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons shoyu or tamari (soy sauce)
- This is an optional but highly delicious step: Roast tomatoes by slicing in half, tossing with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup. Roast in preheated oven (425F) for about 25 minutes or until starting to show some brown spots and looking a bit shrivelled.
- While tomatoes are roasting, begin making soup. Heat remaining olive oil in a large pot.
- When warm, add onions and cook for a few minutes until onions start to soften and look a bit golden (about 10 minutes).
- Add water, bouillon cubes, potatoes, garlic, barley, and lentils to pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft, and lentils and barley are almost soft.
- Add green beans, corn (sliced off the cob), tomato paste, roasted tomatoes (with all juices) and smoked paprika.
- Simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until beans and corn are cooked.
- Taste, and add lemon juice, maple syrup, and tamari, if desired. If the soup looks too thick for your tastes, add an additional cup or two of water.
- Store in mason jars or other glass storage containers in the fridge, or freeze until mid-winter and eat and enjoy then.
© 2014 Backyard Owl