There are few foods I love more than farm fresh tomatoes in August or September. They are so juicy with an intense flavor. Their color is a deep beautiful red, and they slice with ease. I am perfectly content bringing a bag home from the market, slicing them, and eating them with a little olive oil and sea salt, and nothing more! Despite my pleasure in this simple late-summer treasure, I am also willing to try almost any recipe that includes tomatoes.
My mother recently referred me to a Cooking Light recipe for Roasted Corn, Pepper, and Tomato Chowder. It capitalizes on the season's fresh ingredients, and includes two of my favorites (the other is corn). This recipe is so good that I made it one night, it was gone in two days, and I found myself making another batch that night! And again three nights later! My current dilemma is that all of the fresh tomatoes I have been buying have been going into this soup when I need to be trying some other recipes!
I really have no alterations to this recipe, other than the fact that I roasted the vegetables instead of grilling them (my “grill man” wasn’t home at the time, and it ended up working out great). The recipe recommends serving with bleu cheese and chives as a garnish. I’ve also tried goat cheese, croutons, and it is perfect accompanied by a grilled cheese and light green salad.
Roasted Corn, Pepper, and Tomato Chowder
* 3 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
* 3 ears shucked corn
* 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, halved, seeded, and peeled (about 4)
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 4 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)
* 3 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
2. Arrange bell peppers, skin side down, and corn in a single layer on a grill rack; grill 5 minutes, turning corn occasionally. Add tomatoes; grill an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly charred. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Coarsely chop tomatoes and bell peppers; place in a medium bowl. Cut kernels from ears of corn; add to tomato mixture.
3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato mixture; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to high, and stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cool 20 minutes.
4. Place one-third of tomato mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Place pureed mixture in a large bowl. Repeat procedure twice with remaining tomato mixture. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Press tomato mixture through a sieve into pan; discard solids. Place pan over medium heat; cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in salt and black pepper. Ladle about 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with 2 teaspoons cheese and 1 teaspoon chives.