Cooking On A Budget: Summer Vegetable Chowder

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer Vegetable Chowder

Summer Vegetable Chowder comes together beautifully with the strong presence of sweet summer corn, chunks of potato, carrot and of course luscious summer squash.

We are getting squash in droves ~ yellow summer squash, so I thought I would make a chowder recipe incorporating some other great summer vegetables, like fresh corn off the cob. Corn is something we do not grow, but my husband makes the trek up to a local farm here in Connecticut and he and his friend split up a bag from the grower. I decided to keep the same profile for this chowder as I did in the bisque because that was outrageously delicious.
The great thing about making this kind of soup - a chowder of sorts is that it freezes well. So when the cold weather hits, all you have to do is yank a container or two out to feed the family. This chowder is filling and can stand alone as a complete meal.

I am using creative license when it comes to naming this soup. Your typical type of "chowder" generally has a bit of bacon in it and lots of cream or milk. This has neither lots of cream or milk, nor does it have bacon. If you want to add bacon in the recipe it will certainly not hurt my feelings! Cook the bacon in the pan and use the bacon fat to soften the onion rather than the butter. Crumble the bacon into the soup or as you serve it, add some to each bowl. I think four slices of bacon cut up and cooked crispy is probably enough for this recipe.
  • 8 cups yellow squash - peeled and diced (remove seeds from larger squash)
  • 3 cups potato - bite sized chunks (I recommend Yukon Gold)
  • 3 cups sweet summer corn off the cob (fresh or left-over, or use frozen corn)
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots - sliced
  • 1 onion - small dice
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  1. In a stock pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add in the diced onion. Stir and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Add in the flour and keep stirring for a couple of minutes to work out the flour taste. (You are making the base for a roux.)
  2. Turn the heat down to medium low and slowly add in the broth whisking well to incorporate.
  3. Then, add in the diced potatoes, carrots and stir well. Add in the diced squash and stir.
  4. Next add in the salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne and nutmeg and give a good stir.
  5. Bring to a boil and add in the corn and cook on low for about 30 minutes until everything is nice and tender.
  6. Use a hand held blender or potato masher and mash some of the vegetables, leaving mostly bite sized larger chunks.
  7. Adjust for seasoning and add in the cream. Mix well. You are ready to serve.
This recipe makes quite a bit of soup - about 5-6 quarts. It reheats well and freezes well. (See freezing tips below.)

There is very little cream in this soup and with all of the vegetables you are getting lots of nutrients. I ended up partially pureeing my soup with the hand held blender as I like creamy soups but still wanted to leave some texture in there.

A tip about freezing: Be sure to label whatever you are freezing with a short description of what it is and the date you are adding it to the freezer. Soups freeze well for up to six months and actually best if used in three months. If you are someone who likes to freeze meals ahead you already know this!

And remember, the rule of thumb in freezing or in refrigeration is "First In, First Out". Meaning whatever you have put in there first needs to get used before anything that comes after. Restaurants use this method and it should apply to the home cook as well.

If you love soups like I do, check out these other delicious soups. I have done a small round up of some soup recipes from here on the blog. All you have to do is click the link to get the recipe. I do apologize for not re-taking all of the photographs! But all of them are really, really good.

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