Tomato Soup with Corn & Ham

Well, summer is over, but yesterday was sunny and hot, and the farmer’s market had the tail end of the summer harvest, so I’ve got one more summer recipe to share, though this is one that is perfect for a cool night. Fresh tomatoes & fresh corn from the farmer’s market are the best way to do this, of course, but I’m sure you could fake it with some not-quite-so fresh ingredients if you really had a tomato soup jones going. This soup really puts a spotlight on the tomatoes, so try to get the most flavorful you can (cherry tomatoes may be your best bet out of season). This also freezes very nicely, so make the full recipe and save some for the freezer.

Tomato Soup with Corn & Ham
makes about 5 quarts

1/4 cup butter
3 cups diced shallots (about 12 ounces)
2 cups diced celery (about 8 ounces)
1 tablespoon diced red chili pepper
1 pound cooked ham, diced 1/2 inch
1 cup dry white or rose wine
5 cups fresh corn kernels (about 5 ears)
3 pounds tomatoes, 2 pounds pureed, 1 pound diced (about a quart)
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

In large stockpot or French oven, over medium-high heat, melt butter then sauté shallots, celery, & pepper until softened, about 6-7 minutes. Add ham and continue to sauté, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high, add wine, and simmer 2-3 minutes. Add corn, tomatoes, stock, & liquid smoke and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for salt and serve.

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