I just made this for dinner tonight. The Spicy Honey loves tomato soup, but he usually prefers the kind in the can. However, he does enjoy this one. This is an incredibly simple and delicious soup. With summer on the horizon, this seems to work, even when the heat creeps into our bones. My father loved tomato soup, and his most favorite bowl had cubes of bread in the bottom of the bowl. He’d let it set for a few minutes, so the bread would suck up all the goodness. We ate tomato soup all year long, because it goes together quickly and after a long day, when my mother was bone-tired, this was a welcome meal. It just goes together so quickly.
This also a very flexible soup. You can add fresh herbs at the end of cooking—dill, cilantro, basil, lemon balm, and marjoram are all delicious. Toss them in and just let the soup stand for about 2-3 minutes to allow the herbs to “bloom”. I always add ground allspice and garlic granules, but you can change the spices—curry powder, cumin, Italian seasoning, Herbs de Provence, etc. As to onions, I used a sweet Vidalia spring onion, but you can use a regular Vidalia, leeks, frozen leeks or diced onions (which you should always have in your freezer, right?). The tomatoes can be diced, fire-roasted, crushed or puréed. You can add leftover meat, fresh chopped shrimp, a poached egg, bacon bits, etc. And, if you want to keep this vegetarian, but you want some protein, add a can of rinsed and drained beans of your choice—garbanzo and black beans are very nice. If you’re feeling like you’ve been a bad girl and need to be punished, you can toss in some kale. If you’ve only been sort of bad, then try spinach or chard!! You can add heavy cream or evaporated milk at the end, when you add the corn, but it is really tasty without it and less caloric…but, all these options are up to you.
I had boiled some potatoes this morning and had this lovely potato water left, so why would I toss those nutrients down the drain? I would not. The potato adds a subtle flavor and also helps thicken the soup. But, if you haven’t any potato water, then just use tap water or broth. I put the onions in the water and simmered until the onions begin to be translucent. Then, I add the tomatoes, bay leaf and spices and simmered a bit more. Next, I thickened it with the rice flour, the orange juice (which adds a touch of sweetness for balance), frozen corn and sugar. Simmer until the mixture thickens; add the fresh herbs, if you’re using them. I just kept it straight-forward and simple this time, because we were have sandwiches made from leftover Meatloaf Romana. Serve the soup nice and hot…that’s it!
If you always have tins of tomatoes, frozen corn and onions on hand (and you always should have those things, right?), then you can make this anytime. When ear corn is in season, by all means use 2-3 ears. Cut the corn from the cob, scrape the cobs off, add the cobs to the water and boil them in the water for a few minutes. Then keeps the water and pitch the cobs out and continue with the recipe. You’ll have a wonderful flavor, but frozen corn is mighty good and it’s always in your freezer!
- 1 onion or leek, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 cups potato water, plus 1 tablespoon chicken broth concentrate*
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice (fire-roasted if possible)
- 1 large pinch ground allspice
- 1/2-1 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or water
- 1 well-rounded teaspoon rice flour
- 1 1/2 cup frozen corn, unthawed
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2-6 tablespoons honey, sugar, maple syrup or brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- Tons of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, dill or cilantro (optional)
- Finely grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese (optional)
*This is the perfect way to use leftover potato water, but if you don’t have that, then just use tap water or broth.
Place the onion in the leftover potato water, along with the bay leaf. Simmer for 4-5 minute or until the onions begin to be slightly translucent. Add the tomatoes, allspice, and garlic granules. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Combine the remaining water, white wine and rice flour, stirring until there are no lumps. Pour into the soup, stirring constantly as you pour. Continue to simmer until the soup begins to thicken. Stir in the corn, orange juice and the honey; cook for 2-3 minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning.
If you are using the herbs, stir them in just before serving. Let stand for 2 minutes, then serve.
NOTE: This is a great way to use leftover cooked, meat or add a handful of chopped shrimp with the corn. If you opt for the shrimp, do not overcook. You can stir in spinach, chard, kale. Or canned beans…the possibilities are endless!
Tomato-Corn Chowder Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017. All rights reserved.
I put a little dollop of good butter on The Spicy Honey’s bowl. It adds a nice little touch of richness and flavor. One thing that we think is essential…lots and lots of freshly ground black pepper!