Here, Taste This : Late Summer Vegetable Soup

I have been horrible about getting to the farmer's market this summer.

And I am the less for it.

Spending an hour or two shopping fresh produce, admiring the plump tomatoes, the pyramids of glossy zucchini and squash, the rainbow chard laid seductively at child's level - it's one of my favorite ways to spend a Friday morning. I walk the street and mingle with fellow moms, pushing babies in strollers, and grandparents strolling hand in hand, and the hurried business person grabbing a bag of veggies on a break. I chat with my favorite farmers and trade recipes for that week's special and I feel rich in community.

And my home is never without fresh flowers.

The fact that I haven't been at all since school started earlier this month is perhaps the most devastating, because it means I don't have enough late-summer produce on hand to make my favorite vegetable soup. This soup is summer in a bowl, full of the season's bounty, and it's freezable, which means you can make a big batch today, have a bowl for lunch, then freeze the rest for an evening in January when you will have forgotten that the world can be warm and green and filled with the goodness summer offers.

photo credit : Everyday Food

Late Summer Vegetable Soup
(adapted from Everyday Food)

4 ears corn, husked
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
30 ounces vegetable or chicken broth
2 large zucchini, halved lengthwise sliced into semi-circles
2 cups green beans, ends removed, cut into bite sized pieces
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, in juice
1/2 cup orzo pasta
salt, pepper


1. Cut the corn off the cob. If you haven't done this before, it's fairly simple. Just stand the corn upright in a large bowl or plate. With a sharp knife, slice down; the kernels will fall off in thick slabs. (This is messy!) Try to resist eating the corn that very minute. It's tasty.

2. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the chopped onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3-5 minutes. (I sometimes shave to turn my burner to medium-low to prevent the onion from browning before it gets soft. Do what you have to do.)

3. Add your broth AND 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Add the zucchini, green beans, corn, tomatoes with juice and and orzo. Cook, uncovered, until orzo is tender, 8 to 11 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Be sure to taste this before you serve it. This salt needs seasoning.)


1. To freeze, let the soup cool and ladle into freezer bags and place on a flat surface in your freezer. (That ensures the bags will freeze flat, which makes them easier to store.) I like to freeze the soup in 2-cup portions, which is just enough soup for lunch. But again, do what you need to do.

2. This soup is so adaptable,so for those of you who like to tinker, tinker away. Substitute veggies, use frozen corn instead of fresh, add herbs, experiment with toppings. Have fun.

3. This soup is perfect accompanied by a thick, gooey grilled cheese.


  1. I always have to have soup with grilled cheese. It's the only way I can eat it! I guess it makes it more of a hearty "dip" :)

    This looks SO GOOD. Totally going to try it!

  2. Oh the deliciousness. I've only gone to the farmers' market once since school started. I AM GOING NEXT WEEK. And them I'm making this soup.

  3. If I didn't want to add the orzo, would I leave out the 2 cups water?

    1. Good question, Nicole. I don't think you'd want to leave out all the water; you need it to cook the veggies. But maybe cut it down to one cup and see how it goes? You can always add more.