Zucchini is my fun vegetable. I’m always amazed by the wide variety of recipes using zucchini, whether soups, salads, casseroles or desserts. I’ve blogged many of them over the years. If you do a search for “zucchini” in the search bar you’ll be as surprised as I am by the number! And yet I still find more recipes I want to squeeze in during the limited summer growing time for the vegetable that has very little flavor of its own.
I’m also intrigued by corn on the cob. Besides grilling and eating it straight out, our favorite way to eat corn on the cob, I like to find recipes that use grilled corn. I sweetly ask my P.S. (Produce Searer/ hubby) to shuck and grill the corn as I make the rest of the magic.
This day my P.S. was still at work when I got the bright idea to make a chowder for supper. I’d seen recipes for fresh corn chowder and wanted to find a way to include zucchini. I had the remainder of a very large zucchini in the fridge, calling to me to be used. We had also bought two bags of potatoes that needed to be used before they began growing legs to walk away. What were we thinking? It was Potato Bowl week, they were on sale.
I found a recipe that looked great and even included jalapeno for a kick of heat in the chowder. I don’t like to be kicked too much by chowder heat so I’d limit how much I used. You’re free to burn your tongue off if you like.
The previous day I’d shucked the corn and removed all of those pesky silks. I was reminded why I
make ask my P.S.to clean the cobs! I cut the kernels off the cobs and placed them in a bowl. I got 5 1/2 cups off 6 ears of corn. I froze 3 cups for another day.
Following chef Michael Symon’s advice on The Chew, I snapped the cobs in half and threw them into a large pot with a few cups of water and let them simmer away for about 4 hours. I later strained the corn broth and stored it in a container in the fridge. I later used 4 cups of the corn broth for this soup and froze the rest in two bottles.
The next day I diced a large yellow onion, 3 carrots and 3 ribs of celery. I heated my smaller soup pot and melted butter in it before adding the onion, carrots and celery. I fried the vegetables for a few minutes until they began to soften and the onion turn translucent.
I added the jalapeno, garlic and potatoes I’d cleaned and chopped while the first vegetables were sautéing. I let them cook for a few minutes, until the potatoes were about halfway done. I didn’t want them to cook too long yet as they’d continue later and we didn’t want them to get mushy.
The corn broth, bay leaf and thyme went into my soup pot next and I let it come to a boil. I turned the heat down to medium low, covered the pot and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. The potatoes were just fork tender, not falling apart yet.
I added the corn and zucchini to the pot and let them heat through, about 5 more minutes.
I removed the bay leaf from the pot, added the cream and used my immersion blender to puree the soup for a minute or two. I blended it just enough to thicken the chowder but still have some whole pieces of vegetables.
With the heat raised to medium high again, I taste tested for seasoning. I added salt and pepper to taste and let the soup heat through again before serving.
Yum! I’m such a chowder freak I’d like any kind that contains potatoes and cream. The corn added a slight sweetness and the jalapeno added some heat. It was a creamy mouthful of deliciousness that was all I’d hoped it would be. My P.S. was pleased with the soup even though it was meatless. He thought it had great flavors.
The soup stored well and was excellent leftover for several days. I think it would probably freeze well but I didn’t have any left to check that out. Maybe next time!
Fresh Corn, Zucchini and Potato Chowder
Creamy corn, zucchini and potato chowder with a nice bite of heat.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion; diced
- 1/2 cup carrots; diced
- 1/2 cup celery; diced
- 4 teaspoons garlic; minced
- 1 jalapeńo; diced (add more or less as desired for heat)
- 3/4 lb. potatoes; diced
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I made corn broth with the cobs)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large zucchini; diced (about 2 cups)
- 2-3 cups corn kernels; cut from cob
- 1 cup half and half or heavy cream
- In a soup pot heat over medium high heat, melt the butter and add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook for several minutes until vegetables soften.
- Add the garlic, jalapeno, and potatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the broth, bay leaf, and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are beginning to soften.
- Add the zucchini and corn kernels and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Remove the bay leaf and with an immersion blender, process the soup for a minute or so to puree some of the vegetables.
- Raise the heat to medium high, add the cream and heat through again. Do not let it come to a boil.
Adapted from Little Spice Jar