Pureed Soup of Grilled Okra, Prosciutto and Sweet Corn

Makes 1/2 gallon. Recipe is from chefs Torre Solazzo and David Solazzo, Ristorante del Porto, Covington.

2 lbs. fresh okra

4 ears corn, shucked

3 tbls. olive oil plus additional for drizzling

1 onion, diced

1 tbl. minced garlic

1 (10-oz.) can of whole peeled tomatoes, drained

2 quarts dark chicken stock

1 cup diced prosciutto or other salty ham

3 tbls. each chopped fresh basil and oregano

Sliced tomatoes (preferably Creole), toasted croutons, whole parsley leaves, and shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish

1. Season the corn and okra with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper and grill over direct heat until lightly marked on all sides. Set aside to cool.

2. To a medium soup pot, add another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until translucent, 5 minutes. Add the garlic. Hand crush the tomatoes into the pot and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a simmer.

3. Roughly chop the okra, add to the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the soup in a Vitamix or with an immersion blender. Once pureed, pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove okra seeds. Set aside.

4. Remove the corn kernels from the cob. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to a clean soup pot set over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and diced prosciutto or ham and sauté for five minutes. Add the basil and oregano, and the strained and pureed soup. Simmer for 20 minutes more.

5. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish each portion with sliced Creole tomatoes, toasted croutons, whole parsley leaves, and shaved Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil.