Sweet Corn-Red Pepper-Zucchini Chowder
Serves 6 to 8.
Note: Adapted from "The Daily Soup Cookbook," by Leslie Kaul, Bob Spiegel, Carla Ruben and Peter Siegel with Robin Vitetta-Miller.
• 8 ears fresh sweet corn
• 8 c. vegetable broth
• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
• 1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
• 2 ribs celery, chopped
• 2 leeks (green and white parts), rinsed well and chopped
• 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and diced
• 2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 tsp. kosher salt
• 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
• 6 medium Idaho potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise and diced into 1/2-in. cubes
• 1 zucchini, diced
• 1/2 c. heavy cream
• 1 tsp. freshly minced garlic
• 1 bunch fresh chives, minced
Remove husks and corn silk from ears. Slice kernels from ears and reserve (about 4 cups). Reserve ears.
In a large stock pot over medium heat, combine reserved ears and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove ears and discard. Reserve broth (you should have about 6 cups).
In a large stock pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, celery, leeks and red pepper and sweat until tender, about 4 minutes.
Add thyme, bay leaves, salt and cayenne pepper and stir to coat vegetables.
Add potatoes and reserved broth and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer until potatoes are cooked, about 25 minutes.
Add zucchini and reserved sweet corn kernels and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in heavy cream.
Remove bay leaves and purée about one-quarter of chowder in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return purée to stock pot and mix well. Remove from heat and stir in fresh garlic. Ladle chowder into bowls and garnish with minced chives.