The changing of the seasons is a bittersweet time. The days are golden and we wake to snow dusting the mountains.
This is when the summer vegetables are at their sweetest, but it’s also turning into soup season. So, this is when I start making chowder.
I love all types of chowders, especially clam and corn. But this mixed summer vegetable chowder has been one of my favorites since the first time I made it from the Moosewood Cookbook many, many years ago.
Now, I just use my own chowder technique to sweat sweet onions and stew the potatoes in good stock while I browse my produce bins for carrots, green beans, pepper zucchini and summer squash that need using.
So much the better if there’s corn, either fresh or a few ears of leftover steamed corn. It doesn’t take much to flavor the whole pot with this taste we’ll be missing in just a month’s time.
After cutting off the kernels, I make a quick stock with the corn cobs to flavor the chowder.
If you follow the basic technique, you can add in the vegetables you like best or have on hand, and leave out others.
The key element is dicing the vegetables and creating a blend that is tasty and beautiful. I love the combination of green beans, red pepper and corn with onion and potatoes.
I call this my say-good-bye-to-summer chowder. But as long as you have vegetables–even frozen–you can make this chowder recipe.
It makes a simple yet satisfying meal with oyster crackers for a busy evening when everyone in the family is going in different directions. It’s easy to make in advance to reheat or will hold for hours over the lowest heat.
Here’s to the change of seasons and to warming meals in a single bowl. Eat well this fall!
What are your favorite soups for this transitional time of year? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.
Sweet Corn & Vegetable Chowder
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 medium scrubbed Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups corn stock or vegetable broth
- 2 cups half and half or condensed milk
- 1 cup chopped green beans
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 medium zucchini or summer squash, diced
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot, 4 quarts or larger, over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until it turns translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add the potatoes, carrots, thyme, salt and pepper and stir. Add the stock and bring it to a simmer and cook uncovered until the potatoes are tender to the bite, about 12 minutes.
Add the half and half, green beans, pepper and zucchini and bring to a simmer once again. Cook until the vegetable are tender to the bite, about 5 minutes.
Whisk the cornstarch with 1/4 of the milk in a small bowl and add the rest of the milk to the pot. When it comes to a gentle simmer, add the cornstarch mixture and the corn kernels. Simmer until the chowder thickens and taste for seasoning before serving.