Summertime is the best season to enjoy corn, zucchini and yellow squash, so this chowder includes them all! I also added chunks of sautéed shrimp to the soup as a garnish which is a great flavor addition, but certainly not a critical ingredient. The natural creaminess of the soup comes from the purée of about 2 cups of the soup. It eliminates the need for cream and still reserves the rich creamy consistency of a chowder. Using the fresh corn to create a base flavor is the best way to build the flavor. It doesn’t take very long and it makes a big difference.
- 3 ears fresh corn
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups water
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 strips extra thick bacon cooked, plus 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat from cooking
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 cup diced carrot (I used a yellow and orange one)
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
- 1 medium russet potato, peeled, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch cube, (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium yellow squash, diced into 1/2-inch cube, (about 1 cup)
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Chopped fresh basil
- finely diced red pepper
- Sautéed shrimp, bite size pieces
- Urfa pepper*, cayenne pepper or smoked paprika
In a medium pot, place corn and other ingredients together and bring water to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove corn, discard bay leaf and allow to corn cool. With a sharp knife, cut kernels away from husk and set kernels aside and reserve corn stock.
In a medium heavy bottom stockpot or dutch oven, heat butter and reserved bacon fat over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and thyme and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Next add potatoes, zucchini and squash and stir in flour until well incorporated. Next add about 3 cups of reserved corn stock and bring mixture to a simmer, cover allowing potatoes to cook through (about 8-10 minutes until potatoes are completely tender.), adding additional stock if needed. Finally add reserved corn. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Transfer about 2 cups of chowder to a food processor or blender and purée mixture until smooth and creamy. Stir purée back into the pot along with parsley and reserved bacon. You can use some additional stock to adjust the consistency of your chowder as needed.
Ladle soup into bowls garnished with fresh chopped parsley, basil, diced red pepper, and chunks of sautéed shrimp and a sprinkle of heat, as desired. Enjoy!
*urfa pepper is a Turkish chile pepper that’s distinctive for its dark burgundy color, that is flaky and has a delicious salty sweet smoky flavor and can be added to almost anything! You can order online or find in specialty grocers.