I usually don’t eat soups once the weather gets warm. However, after attending the Macy’s Culinary Council event with Celebrity Chef Dana Herbert, where he mentioned adding fresh juice to your soups, I was inspired 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.
I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I did.