Smoky Bacon & Zucchini Corn Chowder
A hearty corn chowder with a nice creamy broth, bits of smoky grilled zucchini and bacon, and a little hot pepper to tingle the taste buds.
I made this soup last week after a trip to my parents’ house, from whence I returned over-burdened with garden goodies. I had some zucchini that I had grilled waiting for me in the fridge upon my return and I was glad for that because I was tired, but I had this soup in my brain and it just needed to happen.
I was very, very glad that I made it Sunday night because on Monday/Tuesday, I realized I had come down with a cold. My throat was sore and I had no energy and soup was just the thing I needed to nurse me back to health. I had it for lunch every day last week and it really helped.
Toss a zucchini or two on the grill next time you fire it up, then keep them in the fridge for times like this when you want to whip up a batch of soup on a whim.
- 2 cups grilled zucchini, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 medium sweet onion, peeled & chopped
- 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 red potato, peeled & chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups corn (frozen or grilled & cut off the cob)
- 1 hot pepper (grilled until charred), peeled & chopped (or sweet pepper)
- 2 - 4 pieces bacon or Canadian bacon
- 1 cup fat free half & half (or cream)
- 2 - 3 oz. Greek cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- To grill the zucchini: start up your grill, then put the whole zucchini on the grill until browned on the bottom, then turn to roast all sides of the zucchini. Remove and let cool before cutting. Once cooled, chop the zucchini into little bites.
- Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent. Add the potato, broth and bay leaf. Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the potato is tender, about 20 minutes. Take a few cups of the soup and put in a blender with the half and half and cream cheese and blend until smooth. Pour the blended mixture back into the pot.
- Stir in the corn, pepper, chopped zucchini and bacon. Cook a few minutes longer, then add the turmeric and paprika. Stir well and cook for 5 - 10 minutes longer to blend the flavors. Serve hot.
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