TOMATO CORN STEW
Lucky’s Market kept those vine-ripened tomatoes on sale longer than I expected. Of course we took advantage and stocked up once again. It’s been tomatoes with everything in our house – and it’s not even summer yet. When they’re sweet and juicy there’s no need to cook with them, but I did anyway – just because I felt like it. Today we’re combining fresh with canned. Why not? There’s no law against it. Well…not yet!
Makes 17 cups
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 lg. fresh sweet red peppers, cored and cut into 3/4 inch squares
6 c. cut green cabbage, about 1 inch squares
1 t. salt
1 jumbo shallot, peeled and diced, or 1 c. sweet diced onion
10 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
28 oz. can whole tomatoes including liquid – dice or crush with clean hands
15 oz. can black beans including liquid
15 oz. can dark red kidney beans including liquid
2, 15 oz. can whole kernel corn including liquid
15 oz. can peas including liquid
1 t. additional salt
1 T. jarred garlic paste or use 2 t. garlic powder
1 T. ground coriander
2 t. ground rosemary
2 t. turmeric
2 t. smoked paprika
1/2 t. cinnamon
light sprinkling red cayenne pepper
fresh grind black pepper to taste
zest and juice of 1 fresh orange
3/4 c. carrot juice (I use Bolthouse Farms brand, available in most markets)
5-6 sweet, juicy vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges (8-10 wedges per tomato depending on size of tomato)
2 T. additional extra virgin olive oil
In extra-large soup pot, over medium heat, melt olive oil. Add red peppers, cabbage and salt. Saute till halfway tender.
Add shallot/onion and garlic. Stir well and saute about 3 minutes.
Add canned tomatoes, black and kidney beans, corn and peas. Stir well, then add 1 teaspoon additional salt.
Add additional garlic, coriander, rosemary, turmeric, smoked paprika, cinnamon, red cayenne pepper, black pepper. Stir well. Cook about 15 minutes, stirring as needed.
Add orange zest and juice plus carrot juice. Stir well. Adjust for salt and pepper. Cook another 10 minutes or till it’s done to your liking.
Remove from heat.
Add fresh tomatoes. Stir to distribute.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Stir to spread throughout soup. Let set off heat till cool enough to pack into covered containers.
Notes: Fresh corn on the cob wasn’t on sale this week, so I went with canned. Even though all forms of corn have gotten a lot of bad press, we still like it and eat it. Nature’s natural sweeper we call it.
Steve likes a fresh ginger stick topper, so that’s what he gets. Peel a thumb-size portion of fresh ginger, slice thinly into slabs, stack and cut into tiny matchsticks. Sprinkle over each serving before attaching lids.
Although ginger is sold as a root, it is not a dry root. So when selecting your fresh ginger avoid dry wrinkly looking roots. They will be too tough and stringy to work with. I see a lot of those around town – people working the produce department who think root means dry and as a result they keep them out for sale too long.
The inside of a ginger root should be wet and juicy. In fact, if you freeze a root, then thaw it, slit it and squeeze it, you’ll extract ginger juice from that root – if purchased and frozen at its peak of freshness.