The evenings are getting noticeably cooler here in Chicago, but summer isn’t over yet. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I’m holding on to these last few days before the seasons change, and I refuse to switch to hot coffee until then. However, I have busted out my favorite leggings and sweaters for maximum comfort at all hours of the day. Does anyone else find fall layers to be the absolute coziest?
While I’m definitely more of a summer weather gal, I can’t help but get excited to incorporate warm, comforting soups into my dinner routine once autumn rolls around. This little gap between the seasons is actually my favorite time of year for this very reason. We’re at the tail end of tomato season, and I can still find fresh corn at just about every market. This soup is the perfect bridge from summer to fall, brimming with a rainbow of flavors, colors, and textures.
It’s not necessary to use fresh corn for this soup, but when it’s in season – why not? Frozen is a solid choice for the middle of winter when you’re craving a taste of summer. If you have a low spice tolerance, use half of a jalapeño for the pesto and be sure to scoop all of the seeds out. Though, the pesto is fairly mild as is. You can always taste along the way and add more heat if needed.
Sweet corn translates beautifully from cob to bowl in this late summer soup. Swirled with fresh basil and jalapeño pesto and served alongside tomato-smeared ciabatta bread, this colorful dinner captures the essential flavors of the season. Be sure to reserve a scoop of fresh corn kernels for garnish; they add a satisfying crunch to the creamy soup.
Sweet corn translates beautifully from cob to bowl in this late summer soup. Swirled with fresh basil and jalapeño pesto and served alongside tomato-smeared ciabatta bread, this colorful dinner captures the essential flavors of the season.
- 1 beefsteak tomato
- 1 Tbsp. vegan butter
- ½ sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Yukon gold potato, diced
- 3 ears sweet corn (or 2 cups frozen corn)
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
For the jalapeño lime pesto:
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ lime, juiced
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup sunflower kernels
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 ciabatta loaf
- First, prep the tomato for your pan con tomate. Slice the tomato in half crosswise and squeeze over your kitchen sink to remove the liquid. Roughly chop the tomato and transfer to a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside.
- Place a large stockpot over medium heat and add the vegan butter. Once melted, add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant and softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the potato and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add ¼ cup water and cover the pot to steam for 5 minutes.
- Stir in most of the corn, reserving a scant ¼ cup for garnish. Add the vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- To make the jalapeño pesto, add the jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, fresh basil, sunflower kernels, and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer pesto to a small bowl and set aside.
- Allow the soup to cool slightly. Then transfer to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Return soup to the stockpot and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. While the soup is thickening, preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Slice the ciabatta roll in half lengthwise and toast the pieces cut side down directly on the oven rack for 5 to 7 minutes. Divide the sweet corn soup into bowls. Garnish each with a dollop of jalapeño pesto and the reserved corn. Remove the bread from the oven, spoon the tomato mixture over the cut sides, and season with salt.