Summer must be coming to a close, because the thought of a bowl of hot soup has once again become appealing to me. I’m not ready to throw on a parka and snow boots quite yet, though. I still want more of the flavors of summer. This soup makes use of farm-stand ingredients like ripe tomatoes, fresh corn, and thyme. If it already is parka and snow boot time when you set out to prepare this, you can use boxed or canned tomatoes and frozen corn.
I also used Irish bacon here, but Canadian bacon or pancetta are excellent substitutes. For a vegetarian version, I’d use a teaspoon of smoked sweet paprika and a handful of chopped green olives.
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 40 minutes
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on at the end
1 medium onion, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 ounces Irish bacon, diced (about 1 ¼ cups)
2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme
1 cup fresh corn blanched and cut from the cob
Aged Cheddar cheese, as garnish (My favorite is Cabot Clothbound Cheddar which is not just sharp, but also balanced with the taste of caramel and nuts.)
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and a good pinch of salt and a few twists of pepper, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in bacon and thyme and cook until heated through, an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes. Continue to cook over medium heat until the tomatoes release their liquid and begin to simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently until liquid has intensified in color and soup is very fragrant, about 20 minutes. Stir in corn and cook another few minutes.
Tomatoes just stirred in
With the corn
- Add salt to taste if necessary (it may not be – the bacon can be quite salty). Ladle soup into soup bowls. Drizzle each portion with additional olive oil, garnish with crumbled or thinly sliced cheese, and serve hot, ideally with some crusty sourdough bread.