Garden Tomato Soup with Millet “Polenta”

Summertime and where has Delia been? I know, you would think I would have posted a dozen recipe blogs by now, but Nooooo. Instead I have been lollygagging about enjoying the incredible heat, eating light and playing with some really fresh and delicious produce. The results of which I will now begin to post before it has all turned back into the soil to bring forth the winter squash.

Let’s begin with the meal I prepared last night for the Cleanse Phase of our summer BR Cleansing group. All the vegetables used in these recipes were grown at the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm, except for the sweet corn, which was from Race Farm. Rich in flavor and nutrients there is nothing that contributes to the taste of a recipe like fresh, organic ingredients. Note that some vegetables may not be available in your area, but can be substituted with members of the same family as I have noted in the recipe.

I served this soup over a soft millet “polenta”, topped with a small dollop of basil pesto to tie all the flavors together. Instead of bread I served Sesame Garlic mochi toasted in a waffle iron and spread with the fresh pesto. Really y’all, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Garden Tomato Soup
Yields: 8 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white wing summer onion, chopped (substitute yellow onion)
2 large cloves garlic, diced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, diced
4 small Magda or Zephyr zucchini, chopped (substitute 1 medium zucchini)
4 Fairy Tale eggplants, chopped (substitute 1 Japanese eggplant)
5 medium tomatoes
5 small tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup unsweetened organic coconut milk (from the can, not “lite”)
Salt to taste

1. Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil. Add two tomatoes at a time and simmer for 20 seconds. Remove to a bowl and bring the water back to a boil. Add another two tomatoes and repeat until all the tomatoes have been blanched in the boiling water.
2. Set a metal strainer over a deep bowl or large measuring cup. Cut a tomato in half and remove the skin. Discard the skin. Gently squeeze the tomato half over the strainer to remove the seeds (you can also scrape the seeds out). Chop tomato half and place in a separate bowl. Repeat until all the tomatoes are done.
3. Scrape the strainer to drain any juice from pulp and seed into the cup. Set aside.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high and sauté the onion, garlic and basil until just tender, about 3 minutes.
5. Add the zucchini and eggplants and cook until almost tender, another 3 minutes.
6. Add the chopped tomatoes and strained tomato juice, stirring well. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the soup another 5 minutes.
7. Stir in the chickpeas and coconut milk. Salt to taste. Return to a simmer and cook another 10-15 minutes or until vegetables and tomatoes are tender.
8. Spoon the millet into individual serving bowls and ladle the soup over the top. Finish with a dollop of pesto and serve while warm.

Millet Corn “Polenta”
Yields: 8 servings

1 cup millet, rinsed
1 cob sweet bi-color corn, kernels removed from cob (discard cob)
3 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
2. Reduce heat to a simmer, place a flame deflector under pan (optional but helpful), and cook until water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
3. When done spoon a small mound of millet into individual bowls and ladle soup over the top. Top with a drizzle of pesto and serve immediately.

Basil Pesto
Yields: 1 cup

1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
1/2-1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (a fruity blend)
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

1. Place ingredients into a blender or Magic Bullet and puree until smooth. Add more olive oil if pesto is too thick. Should be thin, but with some body.
2. Use as a topping for soup, grains, mochi or a spelt pizza crust.


  1. Patty on said:

    Hi Delia,
    I made the soup part of this today with vegetable and spices from the farm and my garden. It was great to use so many vegetables. Now, it is all ready and I will just need to make the polenta and pesto. I also made the soba noodle sauté today which is very good. Thanks!

    • Delia Quigley on said:

      Sounds great! Love that you are using the recipes. I will be posting a few more this week using seasonal foods. Thanks for commenting Patty.

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