Late Summer Harvest Soup

In Ohio, the fall is clearly here as evidenced by the slight yellowing/reddening of tree leaves, cooler temperatures, decreased humidity and dwindling supplies of fresh tomatoes.  Our home harvest has slowed significantly and my tomatillo just gave up its last few fruits.  I knew long ago I wanted to make some sort of green chili or soup with them, but hadn’t planned exactly what that would be.  This past weekend at the farmers market I filled my cloth library bag with several poblanos, onions and quite a few tomatoes among other things.  I simply had to enjoy the last bit of the harvest before we only get the green or barely reddened ones.

So, this morning I set out to make soup.  I simply grabbed produce from the refrigerator, the counter and what I could from the garden (celery and tomatillos) plus some staples from the pantry (black beans) and the freezer (homemade veggie stock).  Then, I just let loose with the cutting board and my new chef’s knife.  This soup was the end result and I absolutely cannot wait to serve it tonight.

Roasted poblanos, tomatoes, corn, black beans and tomatillos all vying for the spotlight
Roasted poblanos, tomatoes, corn, black beans and tomatillos all vying for the spotlight

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3-5 roasted poblano peppers, peeled, deseeded and chopped (tutorial)
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, roasted, peeled, deseeded and chopped  (for heat so if you don’t care for spicy food just replace with a bell pepper or two)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 large tomatillos, chopped (guessing here–mine were all different sizes)
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (about 3 cups total)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2  15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (roughly 2 ears)
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes (omit if you don’t care for spicy food)
  • salt

Directions:

  1. Sauté the onions in a lightly-oiled heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven (one that can easily hold 12 cups) over medium heat until they are nearly translucent. Lightly salting them helps to draw out their liquid, though it’s not necessary.  Add the peppers, garlic, celery and tomatillos and sauté another minute or two then stir in the tomatoes.  I added about 1/2 tsp of salt at this point to draw out the liquid from all the veggies.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pot.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the tomatillos are tender and the tomatoes begin to disintegrate.
  2. Add the lime juice and stock, then turn the heat up to medium-high just long enough to bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to low or medium low just to leave it at a simmer.
  3. Pour in the corn and black beans and let simmer about 10 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning at this point, now that the flavors have combined.  I added about 2 tsp salt and added red pepper flakes to dial up the heat.  Season to your preference and health needs.  If you need to use less salt, add a few Tbsp of lime juice or cider vinegar to increase flavor.  You can also add herbs like cilantro, oregano or parsley.  I just used a ton of celery leaves since our plants are quite abundant with them.

For you meat-eaters, you could add chopped/shredded chicken, pork or beef, though I think shrimp would be absolutely killer in this soup.  We may try that this evening.  I’m going to be thinking about this soup all day at work.

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