Sweet Corn, Tomato and Basil Broth
I like to think that if Moses had received an eleventh commandment on Mount Sinai, it surely would have been something like: Thou shalt not eat basil, corn, or tomatoes in the winter, spring, or fall. When summertime comes and these ingredients are at their peak, you will be glad you waited!
Serve this broth seasoned with sea salt or soy sauce to taste and garnished with chopped parsley, or reserve for soup stock.
Food Editor's note: This is a fabulous stock to use as a base in soups and stews. It is not easy to find a good vegetarian stock to replace chicken stock in recipes, but this one is up to the challenge. Try using it to make fresh corn chowder or a fish stew, or make a batch and freeze it in small quantities to have on hand when the urge to make soup pops up.
6 ears sweet corn
1 pound (3 to 4 medium) ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 large sweet white onion, sliced into thin rings
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 quarts cold water
1. Husk the corn and scrape off the kernels. Reserve the kernels for another dish.
2. Place the cobs and silks, tomatoes, onion, and basil in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour.
3. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
Yield: About 1 1/2 quarts
Peter Berley is a popular chef, caterer, and cookbook author living in New York City. His books include The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen (Regan Books, 2000) and the newly published Fresh Food Fast (Regan Books, 2004). Read more about Peter, including an always fantastic Recipe of the Month, on his website at http://www.peterberley.com.
Sweet Corn Tomato and Basil Broth