While soup might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about summertime recipes, give this one a shot. One of summer’s best gifts is the bounty of fruits and vegetables that start cropping up, including lots of zucchini and sweet corn – our favorites! Don’t get us wrong, we love summer berries and peaches just as much as (if not more than) the next person, but we want to make sure these summer veggies get their fair share of the limelight…they’re just so good! In order to highlight them and showcase their yummy flavors and textures, we decided to put a spin on a classic corn chowder – we think it’s better than the original!
Chock full of chowder staples – we start with the same base of onion, celery, and carrot (and some potatoes) – we use half-and-half to lighten things up just a bit, then we add in tons of sweet corn and zucchini as the heart of the dish. One tip to help you achieve ultimate creaminess: once you’ve mixed in the corn and zucchini and given them a little time to cook in, take two cups of chowder and blend them in your blender or food processor.
Once that’s nice and smooth, pour the mixture back into your stock pot; this makes your chowder creamy and is one of the reasons you don’t need to add in tons of heavy cream to get that smooth texture…and because you didn’t blend the whole thing, you still get the delicious pops of sweetness from the remaining corn kernels! This is the ultimate summer dinner and you definitely need to try it as soon as possible!
Zucchini Corn Chowder
- 1 (32 oz.) carton vegetable or chicken stock
- 4 ears sweet corn, husked, corn kernels cut off
- 1 large zucchini, diced
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 russet potatoes, optional, peeled and diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 strips bacon, chopped
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional, plus more for garnish
- fresh parsley, garnish
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Cook chopped bacon in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until fat renders, then add onion, celery and carrots, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until veggies start to soften.
- Season generously with salt and pepper, then add garlic, thyme and rosemary, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add potatoes and bay leaf, then pour in vegetable broth. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
- Once potatoes are partially cooked, stir in zucchini and corn, then season again with salt and pepper. Continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove and discard bay leaf.
- Optional: take 2 cups soup and place in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, then re-incorporate into stock pot.
- Stir in half-and-half and cayenne pepper, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Ladle into bowls and serve hot.
Recipe adapted from Little Broken