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In the summertime, when both fresh corn and tomatoes are at their peak, using them will make this truly tasty and satisfying soup even better. For one cup of corn kernels, cut the kernels off of two medium-size ears of corn. Peel and dice two large tomatoes to replace the canned chopped tomatoes.

This soup can be served as a first course or as an entree. For an entree, I like to serve it with either Italian focaccia bread or a piece of pizza. For a vegetarian soup, replace the chicken stock called for with vegetable stock or water. If using water, you may also want to add a pinch of salt to the mixture. If you have any leftover soup, add more fresh diced tomatoes to it and serve it as a sauce over pasta, rice or beans.

1tablespoon butter or corn-oil margarine

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1clove garlic, pressed or minced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried sage, crushed

1cup fat-free chicken stock

1can (12-ounce) evaporated skim milk

1cup frozen or canned corn kernels

1tablespoon cornstarch

2tablespoons cool water

1can (14 1/2 -ounces) ready-cut tomatoes, undrained

Fresh sage leaves for garnish, optional
Melt the butter or margarine in a heavy saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook, covered, over low heat until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the pepper, sage, chicken stock and milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the corn and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 more minutes.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the cool water and add it to the soup, mixing thoroughly. Stir soup until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the tomatoes.

To serve, spoon 3/4 cup of soup into each of 6 bowls and garnish with fresh sage leaves, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains approximately 125 calories; negligible cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 258 milligrams sodium; 7 grams protein; 20 grams carbohydrates.

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