Summer alphabet soup
|4||ears fresh corn, husked|
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
|1||onion, finely chopped|
|2||carrots, coarsely chopped|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|1||clove garlic, peeled|
|1/2||pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces|
|2||zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces|
|1||cup alphabet pasta or other small pasta such as flakes, orzo, or baby shells|
2. When the tomatoes are cool, use your fingers to peel away the tomato skins. Working over a bowl, use kitchen shears to halve the tomatoes. Snip them into coarse chunks; set aside.
3. Lay an ear of corn on a cutting board. Working from the wide end to the pointed end, remove about 4 rows of kernels. Turn the cob and cut off more kernels, about 4 rows at a time. Continue until the corn kernels are removed from all the ears. Save the corn cobs.
4. In a soup pot, heat the oil and when it is hot, add the onion, carrots, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
5. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring for 3 minutes more.
6. Pour in the water and add the corn cobs. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the soup for 15 minutes. Use tongs to remove the cobs from the soup.
7. Add the corn, green beans, zucchini, and alphabets. Return the soup to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the alphabets and vegetables are tender. Add more water during cooking if the mixture seems too thick.
8. Taste the soup for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.