Zucchini Corn Chowder

Hey there– OK, I’m ready– to have a new start after Christmas.  Tree down- check!  Decorations boxed up- check check!  Fudge all eaten– double check!  House in order again- mostly checkity check (close enough)!

Here’s a flavorful bowl of soup– warm and filling.  If you want to be a bit more healthy, change out the bacon for olive oil (we just had a bit of bacon leftover in the freezer, calling to be used!).  With a big chunk of study bread, just right for a winter’s evening.

1 tab. butter
4 strips of bacon, cut to small bits (or substitute 3 tab. olive oil)
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
2 carrots, but to small bits
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 cups corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
2 smallish zucchini, cut to small pieces
1 cup half & half or whole milk
salt & freshly ground pepper
garnish: chopped parsley or grated cheddar

In a soup pot, cook the butter and bacon until the bacon starts to crisp.  Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside, leaving the fat/butter in the pot.

Add in the cut onion and carrots and cook until they are tender (about 5 minutes), stirring now & then.  Add in the garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Pour in the water along with the bay leaf and dried basil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the corn and zucchini and simmer 5 minutes more until the zucchini is tender.

Take 2 cups of the mixture out of the pot to a blender (or with a stick blender) and puree it to thicken the soup.  Add the puree and half & half to the pot.  Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add the bacon back into the pot.

Bring it back to a simmer jut to heat it all through and serve with a sprinkle of grated cheddar or chopped parsley (or both!).



Corn, Potato and Ham Chowder

Hi friends– OK, it’s really soup weather around here at last.  It makes my heart happy that my soup pot is pulled out of the cupboard once more.  We’ve been eating this corn chowder since we were first married–37 years!  So we’ve had a few pot-fulls.  Making it again after a long soupless summer is like having an old friend drop in for dinner.  Here it is:

1 cup turkey ham, cut to bits (any ham will do)
2 tab. olive oil
2 tab. butter
1 yellow onion chopped
2 russet potatoes
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped fine
1/4 cup flour
2 15 oz. cans cream corn
4 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
sprinkle of grated cheddar
Sprig of something green for a garnish

Put the oil and butter in the soup pot and heat it up.  Drop the small chunks of ham and onion into the hot pan and let them brown a bit, about 4 or 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, peel and cut the pototoes into polite little chunks.  Cook them in the microwave with water and a 2 shakes of garlic salt for about 7 minutes until the a cooked through, but still firm.  Then sprinkle the flour over the cooking ham and onions.  Turn the heat up medium high and add the milk one cup at a time, stirring all the while until the sauce thickens.   Pour in the creamed corn, green pepper, salt and pepper.  Simmer on the lowest setting (this can scorch easily) until it’s nice and not.

Serve it steaming with a handful of cheddar on top. It’s pretty to add a bit of green.  We have a thyme plant on it’s last legs in the side yard, that worked just fine.  Make some bran muffins and a leafy green salad and it’s dinner!