I usually don’t eat soups once the weather gets warm. However, I attended the Macy’s Culinary Council event with Celebrity Chef Dana Herbert, where he mentioned adding fresh juice to your soups, inspiring me to try a spring soup. I already had some zucchini in the fridge and fresh corn happened to be on sale, so I decided to make a corn and zucchini chowder. And being the meat lover that I am, I added some shrimp as well.
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 6 strips bacon, chopped
- ½ lb large shrimp, optional
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion, about ½ large onion
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- 2 medium (1 lb.) russet potatoes, diced into ½-inch cubes
- 5 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 ears of sweet fresh corn, kernels cut from cob
- 1 medium zucchini, diced into ½-inch cubes
- 2 chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes
- 1 cup half and half
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
- In a large stockpot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until it begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Once the bacon is cooked, remove it and set aside. Also, discard about half the bacon grease in the pot.
- Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and thyme; cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring couple times, about 5 minutes.
- Add potatoes, water, and bay leaf. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer, then lower the heat back to medium, cover and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are halfway cooked.
- Add zucchini, bouillon cubes and corn; season with salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for additional 8-12 minutes or until the vegetables are completely tender.
- Discard the bay leaf and then transfer 2 cups of chowder to a food processor or blender; puree until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot. Add half and half and cook just until heated through. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
- While the chowder is simmering, sauté the shrimp in the olive oil. Add salt, to taste.
- Chop the bacon.
- Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley, bacon and shrimp.
Not only is this soup hearty, but the flavor is pretty good too. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.
So tell me, are you a soup-eater in the spring and summer? Or only in the winter when it’s cold?
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