Kitchen Korner: Summer Harvest Soup

Did you happen to catch that nasty cold going around? Or maybe you have leftover vegetables from the farmers markets around town? This is the perfect transition soup for the end of summer into the beginning of fall. This recipe has all kinds of vitamins and antioxidants for that cold and uses all the produce left behind from the summer season. It is a delicious mix with seasonings that will warm up both you and your taste buds. Even better, soup is fast, easy and can last in the fridge for awhile — ideal for busy college students like ourselves.

 

Ingredients (all of these are subject to change. Feel free to add in more or less of any option below)

 

1 large onion- if you are using organic vegetables you may need two onions as organic tends to run a bit smaller than non-organic.

3 large garlic cloves

1 large red bell pepper

1 jalapeno (optional)

2 cups corn kernels (fresh or canned)

1 medium zucchini

1 can of black beans

3 cups Vegetable broth (this is what I use, feel free to grab chicken or beef broth)

Tomatoes (this is up to you but I use about four)

Oil (coconut, extra-virgin, avocado — whichever works)

 

Seasonings

Chili powder

Cayenne pepper

Salt and black pepper

 

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over low-medium heat. Chop garlic and onion finely, add them into pan and saute for about five minutes with salt and pepper. Depending on your stove, be sure the heat is not too high. If these two burn it will make the soup taste burnt as well. Mix them often!

2. After about five minutes stir in the red bell pepper, jalapeno, corn kernels and zucchini. You can chop these all as finely as you wish, I usually leave my zucchini bites in bigger pieces than the rest, they really soak up the flavor of the broth. Be sure to rinse off the corn kernels if they are coming from a can — it is healthier and will make them taste better (unless you prefer the taste of metal). Raise the heat to medium and saute for about ten minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

3. This is the part where you should get another burner going. Preferably this will be a soup pot, but anything that won’t spill the broth will work fine. Pour about 3 cups of the broth into the pot and turn up to medium heat. Cover the pot and bring it to a low boil.

4. This is a good time to open and rinse off your black beans. Pour the beans into a strainer (or into your hands — I have done that too) and rinse thoroughly with water. Set them aside in a bowl of water while you cook up the rest of this meal.

5. Next, add the tomatoes to the pan with the vegetables. You do not need to chop them very finely, as they keep the flavor and if you like tomatoes then I say big chunks are best in this soup. The other vegetables should be tender by now, but if not let them cook for awhile longer.

6. Now let’s add some flavor! Mix in some chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper with the vegetables. I personally love cayenne pepper so I usually add a lot for some spice, but a hint of each will do. Cover the pan and let the goodness simmer!

7. Your broth should be boiling, so go ahead and add the vegetables to the soup pot. Let them simmer for about ten minutes uncovered.

8. Remember those black beans? Yep, get those right now. Add them into the soup and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes covered before serving.

Voila! Your soup is complete. You can let it sit covered for as long as you wish. Depending on your serving size, this should serve about three. You can also double the recipe and add more broth to make it a bit more watery, but I like mine with lots of vegetables. You can really do what you wish. Isn’t soup fun?

I have also found that crushed tortilla chips work wonders on top of this soup. They blend well with the black beans and corn and provide that bit of crunch that you won’t get from steamed vegetables. I hope you enjoy it and for those of you who are sick, feel better and please don’t cough on me.