Hey, friends. It's August. The end of August. It's still very much summer. The days are long and hot, the ocean is warm, and our legs have lost that painful shade of pale. There are berries and peaches and tomatoes and crisp local corn. If there is ever a time to live in the moment and enjoy every second, it's now.
Two weeks ago I overheard someone at the farm stand saying summer was over. Whatt???? No way. How can you say that as your filling your basket with juicy, squishy tomatoes? This is one of the best parts of summer. I'm doing my best to stay blissfully engaged in these last few weeks, and not think about colder days or wearing closed toed shoes.
One of the ways I get into my late summer groove is cooking with the local veggies from the farm stand and my garden. Almost everything I am making right now comes from within a few miles of my home. This is rarely the case the rest of the year when I in nyc and a lot of my veggies (even the ones from the farmers market) are coming from many many miles away, so I am really enjoying this moment and holding onto to it until the very last zucchini.
Because everything is super local, that means a lot of zucchini, a lot of tomato, and a lot of corn. I am always looking for new ways to enjoy them and this soup has been my absolute favorite of the season. Zucchini is so much tastier once it's been roasted, tomatoes too. Puree them with little more than some garlic, a sweet pepper, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and finish with some crunchy corn and pine nuts for some texture, and you have simple summer soup that is a bomb of summer flavors.
roasted tomato + zucchini soup (gazpacho) with a corn + pine nut crunch
for the soup:
4 cups of chopped zucchini (yellow, preferably)
2 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon of salt (plus more for seasoning the vegetables)
1 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1 small clove of garlic, sliced
4 cups of filtered water
for the corn + pine nut crunch:
2 pieces of corn, shucked
1/4 cup of pine nuts, lightly toasted
olive oil + salt
additional toppings: microgreens or chopped herbs (such as parsely, cilantro) or some sliced green onion
Roast the zucchini, tomatoes + onion:
- Pre-heat the oven to 400º.
- Place the chopped zucchini, tomato, and onion onto a baking sheet. Generously drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes until the veggies are light brown. Remove, and allow to cool slightly.
While the veggies are roasting, boil the corn and make the pine nut crunch:
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and add the corn, and cover the pot. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove the corn and set it aside to cool slightly.
- Remove the kernels from the cob by dragging a knife down the sides of the corn.
- Heat a small frying pan over medium low heat, add a touch of olive oil and add the pine nuts. Cook for a couple of minutes until they are light brown. Then add the corn and give it a good toss. Remove from the heat.
Blend the soup:
- Once the veggies have cooled slightly, transfer them to a blender, and add the remaining ingredients for the soup (1/2 tsp of salt, yellow pepper, vinegar, garlic, and water).
- Blend on high until everything is incorporated. Taste and adjust any seasoning if necessary.
Assemble + serve the soup:
- If you would like to serve this soup cold, leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours. You can also make this a day or two in advance (it will only get better over a few days). You can also serve this right away, warm.
- Pour the soup into individual bowls, and top with a spoonful of the corn and pine nut crunch. Finish with microgreens or the herbs of your choice.