Golden Summer Squash and Corn Soup
July 21, 2014 § 4 Comments
Most days I am a bit of a klutz in the kitchen. I don’t clean out the sink or drying rack, prep my ingredients, read a recipe from start to finish, or do any of those other things you are supposed to do before you start cooking. And I would say 75% of the time I am okay with this, because I’m pretty organized in the rest of my life and it’s nice to let go a bit in the kitchen. Sometimes, though, I get really frustrated with myself (see the great fava bean disaster of 2014), and avow to be a more organized, mindful cook.
It doesn’t usually last that long, but this recipe happened to fall into one of those windows of time, so it’s written in a way that will allow you for the most part to prepare everything before you start cooking, and enjoy the time when the soup is simmering. I also had splurged on squash blossoms (these add a nice texture to the soup, but if you don’t have them, don’t worry), and wanted to treat them nicely, so that forced me to slow down a bit.
Beyond just an exercise in cooking slowly, this soup hits the spot. I love soup year round, but if you are a soup-in-the-summer-skeptic, I urge you to give this soup a try. It tastes like summer in a bowl! It’s light, fresh, and won’t weigh you down, but its just creamy enough because of the addition of a can of white beans. It can also warm you up if you’re eating lunch in an over-air-conditioned office.
Because its not my natural instinct to cook in such an organized way, I prepared all the soup ingredients and was ready to put up my feet during the simmer time, but then realized I had wanted to roast tomatoes and garlic scapes (per my mom’s advice) to have on top of the soup (I always think soups taste better with garnishes (nuts, pesto, a dollop of yogurt, scallions, the list goes on). So, I tackled that while my soup simmered.
But, you can do better! You can get the tomatoes (which roast at a lower temperature than the scapes) in the oven before you start your soup, and then swap them out for the already prepared garlic scapes, and savor the time the soup is on the stove. To help you do so, I’ve put the ingredients and recipe for the tomatoes and garlic scapes first. I’m pretty confident you’ll find other delicious uses for the roasted tomatoes and scapes beyond just this soup.
I also didn’t make sure I had broth on hand before I started making this soup, so I ended up using water and the liquid from the can of white beans. To amp up the flavor, I simmered the soup with the corn cob in the pot. You could substitute broth for the bean liquid and water, and leave out the cob, if you have some on hand. (What, you check to make sure you have broth before making a soup? Blasphemy!)
Golden Summer Squash and Corn Soup
For the Garnishes:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Garlic scapes (I honestly have no idea how to quantify how many I had…some number of rings? Tendrils?)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions or 1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
5 medium yellow squash
1/2 jalapeño (optional)
1 ear of corn
1/4 cup white wine
1 can white beans and their liquid
2 1/2 cups water
As many squash blossoms as you can find and/or afford (I had about 8)
Juice of one lemon
To Make the Roasted Tomatoes & Garlic Scapes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line two baking sheets with foil.
- Slice cherry tomatoes in half and place on one baking sheet.
- Slice garlic scapes into 3-4 inch pieces.
- In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, and salt.
- Pour half the olive oil mixture over the tomatoes and toss to coat. Flip tomatoes so the sliced side is facing up.
- Add the garlic scapes to the liquid measuring cup with the remaining oil mixture and combine.
- Pour the garlic scapes out onto the second baking sheet.
- Bake the tomatoes for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. They are done when they have shriveled up a bit and caramelized.
- Start your soup preparation.
- Once the tomatoes are done, pause your soup making. Turn up the oven to 425 degrees. Roast garlic scapes for 25 minutes. If you remember, pull the pan out and toss the garlic scapes around everyone once in a while. I forgot to do this and they turned out just fine.
- When the garlic scapes are crispy and slightly browned, they are done.
To Make the Soup:
- Dice the onion and jalapeño (remove the seeds if you don’t want it super spicy), mince the garlic, and chop the squash into medium-sized cubes. (When I’m feeling organized, I like to put each ingredient into its own bowl once prepped).
- Cut the corn off the cob (apparently you can do this using a bundt pan! I usually just do it over a cutting board and then wonder why I make a mess…). Save the cob! You will use it for the broth.
- Prepare the squash blossoms. This is actually incredibly easy, and there are pictures of each step at the bottom of this post. First, remove their stems. Then remove the little green stems (apparently these are called sepals) from the base of the blossom. There should be about 4. Next, separate the petals and pull out the pistil in the center of the flower (I did not know what a pistil was until now, but its that thing in the center of the petals that you can grab with your fingers). Take a sharp knife and cut what remains (the petals and base) into thin strips.
- In a dutch oven or soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onion to the pot, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn down the heat slightly, add the jalapeño and garlic, and saute for about a minute.
- Add the squash and stir it around in the pot for about 2 minutes.
- Add the corn kernels and saute for 30 seconds.
- Pour the wine into the pot and use a spatula to get up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom.
- Add the white beans and their liquid, the water, and the corn cob to the pot.
- Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover and reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer for 20 minutes (until the squash is soft). Sit back and relax.
- Turn off the heat and discard the corn cob.
- Puree the soup either with an immersion blender, or by transferring the soup to a regular blender (then put the soup back in the pot).
- Stir in squash blossoms and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and season heavily (the soup can take it, and really needs it) with salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste.
- Finish with the fresh lemon juice.
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with roasted tomatoes, garlic scapes, and additional salt and pepper as needed.
How to Prep Squash Blossoms
- Remove the stems.
- Remove the little green stems (sepals) from the base of the blossom. There should be about 4.
- Separate the petals and pull out the pistil in the center of the flower (Its that thing in the center of the petals that you can grab with your fingers).
- Take a sharp knife and cut what remains (the petals and base) into thin strips.