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Monday, December 9, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Dorothy Dean presents: Creamy chowder a delicious way to enjoy summer’s bounty

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

If you’re not into soup year round, brace yourself because the winds of change are headed your way. I’m telling you, this chowder will have you proclaiming summer as “soup season.” It’s light, yet hearty, chock full of fresh veggies and even has bacon. Yes, bacon. Sold ya there, didn’t I?

Combining two of my favorite summer offerings, sweet corn and succulent zucchini, along with celery, carrots and potatoes, this creamy soup has hints of smokiness from the bacon and a pop of heat from cayenne that’s sprinkled on when serving.

It’s the perfect summertime soup that’s delicious and comforting. While the potatoes lend a hand in the soup’s thickness, it mainly comes from puréeing 2 cups of the soup at the end and then stirring it back in the chowder.

This is a great trick to make soups and stew broth more luscious and thick. I garnish mine with fresh chopped parsley along with the cayenne. Feta, parmesan or cheddar cheese, along with more bacon bits, can be sprinkled on as well.

And though the chowder is a meal on its own, it pairs wonderfully with a sandwich or salad.

Summer Fresh Corn and Zucchini Chowder

Adapted from littlebroken.com

4 strips bacon, chopped

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 bay leaf

4 ears of sweet fresh corn, husk and silk removed and kernels cut from cob

1 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Cayenne pepper, to serve, optional

Add bacon to a large heavy-bottomed pot and cook over medium heat until the bacon renders its fat and begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add in onion, celery, carrots, garlic and thyme and cook until the veggies begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add potatoes, chicken (or vegetable) stock and bay leaf. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer until the potatoes are halfway cooked, about 8-10 minutes.

Add in the corn and zucchini and simmer for an additional 8-12 minutes or until the veggies are completely tender. Find and discard the bay leaf before transferring 2 cups of chowder to a food processor or blender to puree until smooth.

Stir the mixture back into the pot, along with the cream, and cook just until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh chopped parsley and a sprinkle of cayenne if desired.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at spoonandswallow@yahoo.com.

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