Okay, so remember last week when I was all like “grill everything! summer forever!” and promised not to go all pumpkin on you yet?
Well. I caved.
And made you soup.
But you have to understand what happened. Last Thursday, it was eighty-eight degrees. And humid. I turned our air conditioner on.
But today? Today is cloudy, with a high temperature thirty degrees lower than that. We’re in that awkward time when it’s too cold to keep the windows open, but not quite cold enough to turn on the heat. So we’re dressing in layers at night like we’re camping and wearing socks again. Socks!
So we souped.
But this is tomatillo soup. And tomatillos might be the summeriest thing to ever exist.
Are you familiar with tomatillos? I wasn’t either until they first came in our CSA box a few weeks ago, and now I’m totally smitten. They are like little firm tomatoes. While I was trying to figure out how to describe their taste, I came across a few sites describing them as sour (versus a sweet, ripe tomato). But I think I’d use words like tart or citrusy – which is kind of why I love them. I feel like they are the love child of a tomato and a lime, so basically the best thing ever. No, they’re not as good raw as a ripe, red tomato, but broiled or roasted? They will make some mind-blowing salsa.
You could say we’ve been a bit of a tomatillo kick this summer.
This week, I roasted up a bunch of tomatillos with peppers, onions, garlic, and jalapenos. That roasted goodness got pureed down and added to some broth, cilantro, and beans. Twenty minutes later, I had this savory (but slightly sweet!) soup with hints of citrus and acidity, plus – fan favorite! – roasted sweet corn. We topped the soup with the usuals: cheese, cilantro, green onions. But we took the recipe creator’s advice and used radishes as a garnish as well and loved them. The radishes balanced out that sweetness just perfectly, while also adding a textural element.
We made this soup thick, and almost used it like a dip for these super easy homemade tortilla chips and can only encourage you to do the same.
(recipe adapted from A Couple Cooks )
(serves 4 as a main dish, 6-8 as a side)
Don't skip roasting the vegetables; this step really enhances the soup's flavor! I adapted the original recipe by replacing hominy wtih roasted sweet corn, adding bell peppers and halving the broth to make a thicker soup.
12 small tomatillos, husked, rinsed, & dried
2 red onions
2 jalapeno peppers, cored & seeded
2 bell peppers, cored & seeded
3 garlic cloves, peeled & quartered
app. 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 fifteen-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 sprigs cilantro + more for garnish
2 ears sweet corn, husked
salt & pepper, to taste
6 radishes, halved & thinly sliced
3 green onions, finely sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese, to taste (monterrey jack, cotija, cheddar, etc.)
tortilla chips ( for homemade you will need flour tortillas, olive oil, salt)
Roast the Vegetables:
Preheat oven to 450*F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (I ended up using 2 baking sheets to make a single layer of vegetables on each).
Roughly chop the tomatillos, red onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos. Place the chopped veggies along with the garlic on the sheet(s) and drizzle with olive oil, using your hands to toss and coat. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast until soft and slightly browned, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
(While the veggies are roasting, you can prepare your toppings.)
Once vegetables are just slightly cooled, scoop them into a food processor or blender. I pulsed mine a few times to retain some texture, but you could puree until smooth if you prefer. (You could also use an immersion blender.) Pour the veggies into a pot along with the broth, beans, and 3 sprigs of cilantro. Bring the mixture to a boil and then keep at a rapid simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently to keep it from sticking to the bottom, until slightly thickened.
While the soup is simmering, heat a stove burner to medium heat. Toast your husked corn cobs by placing them directly on the burner, rotating frequently (every minute or so), until charred and aromatic. (Alternately, you could grill your corn). Once charred, cut kernels away from cob.
Finish & Serve Soup:
In the last 2 minutes of simmering, mix the corn kernels into the soup. Remove cilantro sprigs. Season with salt and pepper to taste, place in bowls. and top with green onions, cilantro, radishes, lime juice, and cheese as you wish.
How to Make Bake Tortilla Chips:
Preheat oven to 400*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush olive oil onto both sides of tortillas. Cut into triangles. Sprinkle with salt. Bake about 7 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven. Chips will become more crispy as they sit out. Add more salt if desired.