One of the very best things about summer is the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables. With fruits like blueberries, cherries, and blackberries in season, berries are wonderful on their own, on top of yogurt with a little granola, or baked up in a pie.
The same applies to the bounty of fresh vegetables. You can find zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, green beans, herbs, and tomatoes (which are technically not a vegetable) in many backyard gardens, farm stands, farmer’s markets, and your favorite market or grocery store’s produce section.
Summer corn is found everywhere. It’s so delicious this time of year and there are so many ways to enjoy it besides boiling or grilling it to indulge in its sweetness. When I came across this recipe by Simply Recipes, which was touted as their very favorite, I was intrigued enough to put aside a few other recipes I’d been eyeing to give this one a whirl. I wasn’t disappointed.
Simply Recipes has this along with many other recipes that feature corn as the star of the show. Check out their website for more ideas to enjoy it to the maximum.
The recipe includes bacon and milk, which won’t work for vegans or vegetarians. I have adapted it so you can still enjoy this lovely bowl of soup.
Sweet Corn Chowder by Simply Recipes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter ( For the vegetarian or vegan chowder: 2 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter, plus 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin or virgin olive oil)
1 strip bacon, or 1 teaspoon bacon fat (omit for vegetarian and vegan soup)
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup small-diced carrot
1/2 cup small-diced celery
4 to 5 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from the cobs (about 3 cups), cobs reserved
1 bay leaf
4 1/2 cups milk, whole or low fat (soy or rice milk)
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and large (1-inch) diced (about 3 cups)
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
For vegetarian and vegan chowder, go straight to sauteing the vegetables in the vegan butter/olive oil)
Cook the bacon:
Place butter and bacon into a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Heat on medium heat until the bacon renders its fat, 3-4 minutes.
Cook the vegetables (except the corn and potatoes):
Add the chopped onions, red bell pepper, carrot, and celery, lower the heat to medium-low and cook until vegetables soften about 5 minutes.
Add corn cobs and bring to a simmer:
Break the corn cobs in half (after you’ve stripped off the corn) and add the cobs to the pot. Add the milk and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.
Make sure the heat is as low as can be and still maintain a gentle simmer (on our stove we had to use the “warm” setting) to prevent scalding the milk on the bottom of the pan.
After 20 minutes, add the potatoes, salt, and thyme to the pot. Increase the heat to return the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain the simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.
Finish the soup:
Discard the cobs, the bacon strip, and the bay leaf. Add the corn kernels and black pepper. Again raise the heat to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook for another 5 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.
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Check out more recipes from Simply Recipes