SUMMER FRESH CORN AND ZUCCHINI CHOWDER
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 strips bacon, chopped
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion, about ½ large onion
- 2 celery ribs, chopped (1/3 cup)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled + chopped (1/2 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- 2 medium (1 lb.) russet potatoes, peeled, diced into ½-inch cubes
- 4 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 ears of sweet fresh corn, husk + silk removed and kernels cut from cob (2¾ cup corn)
- 1 medium zucchini, diced into ½-inch cubes, (1½ cups)
- 1 cup half and half
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
- cayenne pepper, to serve, optional
- In a large heavy-duty bottom stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon renders its fat and begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and thyme; cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring a couple times, about 5 minutes.
- Add potatoes, water, and bay leaf. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer, then lower the heat back to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are halfway cooked.
- Add zucchini and corn; season with salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for additional 8-12 minutes or until the vegetables are completely tender.
- Discard the bay leaf and then transfer 2 cups of chowder to a food processor or blender; puree until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot. Add half and half and cook just until heated through. Taste for salt and pepper.
- Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley and sprinkle of cayenne pepper, optional.
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