30-minute soup recipes that utilize fall vegetables | SummitDaily.com

30-minute soup recipes that utilize fall vegetables

Suzanne Anderson
Special to the Daily

As aspen leaves turn from green to gold and nights grow longer and cooler, this is the time to savor the sun-drenched goodness of late-summer vegetables. What better way to enjoy them than in these easy-to-make soups, where their intense flavors play center stage.

The best way to experience these farm fresh vegetables is to roast or sauté them with only a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper. The heat intensifies the flavors of the vegetable and brings their sweetness to the fore. Ironically, it's also one of the easiest ways to cook vegetables and the surest way to get friends and reluctant family members to eat their vegetables.

Each of these soups can be made in less than 30 minutes. They benefit from the fact that the vegetables are at their peak right now. Please try them soon!

Gazpacho

While nights turn cooler, our days remain sunny and warm. Perfect weather to enjoy this soup as farm-fresh tomatoes are bursting with sun-filled flavor. Enjoy this soup immediately. It takes minutes to make, and improves as it stays in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:

4-6 tomatoes – heirloom or plum – cut into chunks

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1 large cucumber peeled and cut into chunks

3 bell peppers – two cut into chunks, one diced

1 red onion – cut into chunks

2-3 cups of V-8 or tomato juice

cilantro

red vinegar or balsamic vinegar

Worcestershire sauce

extra virgin olive oil

salt, pepper

Directions:

1. Put the tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, garlic and onion, into a food processor and pulse three to five times, until the vegetables are finely chopped but not mush!

2. Transfer the vegetables into a pitcher or bowl, add V-8 (or tomato) juice, season with vinegar, oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

3. Refrigerate at least two hours, but overnight will allow the flavors to meld into something better.

Southwestern Corn Chowder

This soup benefits from the sweetness of our summer ripe corn that is roasted to intensify the flavors of the corn, and then added to the soup. You can choose whether to add a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes at the end. I discovered their salsa seasonings brought the final soup together beautifully.

Ingredients:

6 ears of corn

1 sweet onion

2 bell peppers

2-3 garlic cloves

2-3 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons flour

3 cups chicken stock (or water)

1 cup half and half or milk

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon coriander

1 14.5 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes (I used Kroger "salsa style")

a handful of tortilla chips crushed, to thicken soup

1. Roast the six ears of corn in a 450 F oven for 20 minutes. While the corn roasts, gently sauté the chopped onion, garlic, bell peppers in butter until they are softened, do not allow the vegetable to brown. Add the flour and stir occasionally as the flour absorbs the butter and browns.

2. Take the corn from the oven and allow to cool. After the corn has cooled, use a knife to carefully scrape the kernels from the cob. Divide in half. Add one half to the sautéed vegetables, reserve the other half for later.

3. Add the stock (or water) to the pot and then the corn. Using an immersion blender, blend the vegetables until smooth. If you are not pressed for time, you can add 1-2 corn cobs and allow them to cook for 20 minutes in the soup to flavor the soup. Then remove the cobs and discard them.

4. Add the remaining corn kernels, the diced pepper, the can of fire roasted tomatoes, and the seasonings (cumin, chili powder, and coriander), add crushed tortilla chips to thicken the soup, season to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper if you'd like a kick. Garnish with cilantro, avocado, or chilled shrimp.

Curried Coconut Carrot Soup

When we think of carrots, we think of 'baby' carrots used to scoop a heavy dip into our mouths. This quick and easy soup allows carrots' natural sweetness to flower through a gentle sauté and then act as the foundation for a rich and spicy curry soup.

Ingredients:

1 lb carrots

1 medium onion

2 Tablespoons curry powder

½ 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk (about ¾ cup)

1 ½ cups water or chicken or vegetable stock

salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste

1. Sauté chopped carrots and onion about 10 minutes until softened

2. Add coconut milk, stock and curry powder

3. Puree soup with an immersion blender until smooth. You can add more liquid if the soup is too chunky.

4. Season to taste with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

5. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.

I imagined my subscription to a weekly box of gorgeous farm-fresh vegetables from the Summit County CSA would result in my not only becoming healthier, but also slimmer. Unfortunately, I didn't factor in my ability to compensate with ice cream. So, we'll call the weight loss a draw. However, I do feel I'm drawing closer to achieving two out of three in the 'healthy, wealthy and wise' sweepstakes. Enjoy these healthy and flavor-forward soups and I believe you'll experience the same revelation. Enjoy!

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