I was going to take you on a tour of the newish Saturday farmer’s market in Concord, MA. But the rain forecast kept the farmers away, so now we are going to two of my favorite farms, both family farms with a long history here. Then we are having corn soup for lunch, my recipe inspired by the best corn soup ever at 80 Thoreau, with a swirl of my own.
It’s disheartening when the mums first come out, because after that it’s kale and then nothing. But today they have tomatoes, peaches, eggplant, zucchini, melons, and some crazy not-for-sale (I’ve tried) experimental artichoke plants, so we are good.
And finally, the soup recipe I told you about:
Corn soup with basil swirl
4 ears corn, shucked, with corn cut off the cobs and cobs set aside
2 large cloves of garlic with skins left on
2 tsp olive oil
2 large or 3 small leeks, washed carefully, dried, and thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1/4 cup packed basil
1 TBS olive oil
1 small yellow or green (ripe) tomato or 6 yellow cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
1. Heat a small skillet to medium high, and put garlic cloves with skins on, into pan to toast. Check every few minutes and turn once they are browned, and then remove from heat. Once they have cooled, peel the garlic and chop.
2. While the garlic is toasting, heat olive oil in a medium-size soup pot, and add leeks and carrots and stir ocassionally and saute until soft, 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Stir in corn and 1/2 tsp salt to the leeks and carrots, and add 3 cups of water and the corn cobs. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, use tongs to remove the corn cobs, and stir in the garlic.
4. Let soup cool slightly and then puree it, using either an immersion blender or put the soup in a blender and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you want a smoother soup, pour it through a strainer over a bowl.
5. While soup is simmering, make the basil swirl: In a mini food processor or blender, process the basil, 1 TBS olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and tomato until smooth.
6. Heat soup if it’s not hot enough, then fill bowls and use a small spoon to swirl the basil mixture on top.
Serves 4-6 as a light first course