In winter, big pots of simmering soup are a given, hearty bowls to warm us from the inside out. But what about summer soup, do you make summer soup? Summer soups are just different, aren't they? Lighter and livelier, more likely to be all about the fresh vegetables that are so alluring during these heady summer months.
For me, summer just isn't summer without at least two must-make summer soup recipes, Tomato Gazpacho, the chilled tomato summer soup that turned me into a seasonal eater, and this corn chowder recipe, bits of summer vegetables and sweet kernels of corn in a milky broth. It's takes a little chopping, we do love to cut vegetables, don't we? :-)
I like this corn chowder served warm, not hot, the better to really taste the individual vegetables, bite by bite. It's similar to Finnish Summer Soup, one of my very oldest recipes. Add shrimp and scallops and bits of fresh tomato for Summer Seafood Chowder, another summer chowder.
All fans of summer soup will definitely want to check out my collection of Favorite Summer Soup Recipes, some chilled, some warm, all filled with summer vegetables (and fruit too!) and summer color.
Careful readers will note that today's corn chowder recipe is a reprise of a recipe first published back in 2005 when I was in "learning" mode and publishing a new vegetable recipe day for a year. I learned then, and repeat now, that this soup might disappoint when it's first done. But let it rest a bit, even a couple of hours, and all of a sudden, the flavors just bloom and you just might find yourself (I won't tell) slurping spoonfuls right from the pot.
RECIPE for SUMMER's BEST CORN CHOWDER
Time to table: 60 minutes but best if let to rest for at least a couple of hours or overnight
Makes 12 cups
2 tablespoons bacon drippings (see TIPS)
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
2 large carrots, cut into rounds or half-rounds (about 1 cup)
2 ribs celery, cut on the diagonal (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
Other summer vegetables - okra, green beans, tomatillo, tiny broccoli or cauliflower florets, etc.
3/4 pound new potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, skins on and diced
3/4 pound sweet potato, peeled and diced (from 1 medium sweet potato)
6 cups chicken stock (I used Homemade Chicken Stock)
2 fresh whole sprigs of thyme or oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups fresh sweet corn kernels, about 6 ears (How to Cut Corn Off the Cob, Keeping All Ten Fingers, Capturing Every Delicious Kernel and Every Drop of Sweet Corn 'Milk')
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or for incredible richness, half & half or even cream)
Additional salt to taste, pepper to taste
In a very large pot or Dutch oven, heat the bacon drippings on MEDIUM HIGH until sizzling. Add onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, zucchini and other vegetables as they're prepped, cooking just until beginning to soften.
Add the potato, sweet potato, chicken stock, herbs and salt. Bring to a boil, adjust heat to maintain a slow simmer and cook until the potatoes and sweet potatoes are fully cooked.
Add the sugar, corn and milk and cook for about 10 minutes, until the corn is cooked. Remove the fresh herb sprigs and season to taste. Let rest off the heat for an hour or two before serving or cover and refrigerate overnight.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
BACON If you don't have bacon drippings on hand, cook about 1/2 cup diced bacon (from about 5 slices) until crispy, lift out of the skillet. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings and continue.
SALT Salt is key here, especially if using unsalted homemade chicken stock.
VEGETARIAN CORN CHOWDER Just use olive oil instead of bacon drippings and vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. It will be glorious! This recipe is really all about the vegetables and the milky broth.
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MORE FAVORITE CORN RECIPES
~ Raw Corn Chowder ~
~ Cooler Corn - How to Cook Corn in a Beer Cooler ~
~ Grilled Sweet Corn (in the Husks) with Spiced Lime Butter ~
~ Warm Tomato, Corn & Okra Salad ~
~ more corn recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Favorite Summer Soup Recipes ~
~ Fresh Creamed Corn ~
~ Creamy Ricotta with Tomato-Cucumber-Corn Salad ~
~ Sweet-Corn Soup with Shrimp ~
~ more corn recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
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