Speedy Summer Soup!

In the summer at the end of the week, I always find that I have a medley of miscellaneous vegetables that are not quite fresh. This Spicy Corn and Vegetable Chowder, from Fresh from the Garden by Perla Meyers, is perfect for getting rid of those overripe leftovers. I adapted Perla's recipe slightly to cut out the fat (she cooks with bacon and cream; I use mushrooms and skim milk). The recipe is easy to do after work, and filling when served with hot bread and salad.

Spicy Corn and Vegetable Chowder

  • 5 ears of corn, husked
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 large union, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tsp. finely minced jalepeno pepper
  • 1 small green pepper and 1 small red pepper, cored, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 zucchini, finely diced
  • 8 mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flower
  • 3 large tomatoes - seeded and finely chopped (Perla says to peel, but I don't bother)
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning (this makes the recipe)
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • cilantro sprigs (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Bring plenty of lightly salted water to a boil, and then add ears of corn; simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, cool slightly to handle, and then cut kernels from the cob (cut into the corn slightly to extract the sweet juices of the corn). Reserve.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter over low heat. Simmer onion, peppers, zucchini and mushrooms for 4 minutes until tender. Add the flour and blend well. Add tomatoes and simmer for another 3 minutes.
  3. Add chicken broth, Old Bay Seasoning, milk and corn, season with salt and pepper (and more Old Bay if you like it kicked up a notch). Simmer partially covered for 15 minutes. Correct seasoning and garnish w/ cilantro (optional).

Fresh from the Garden, reprinted with permission Clarkson Potter June 1996 by Perla Meyers.

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