Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wild Wednesday - Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

Yup. I said corn SOUP!  In Summer?  In this 100 degree heat?

Well every year about end of July or beginning of August I get a hankerin' for fall.  I mean badly.  So every year I make a couple of traditional "autumn dishes" to tide me over.  So watch for a few more.

Besides, corn is in season right now.  And sweet, and tender and just plain amazing.  Add to it the crookneck squash I also picked up from the market, and it is bountiful meal!

The #9 reason to buy local

Local food supports a clean environment and benefits wildlife. A well-managed family farm is a place where the resources of fertile soil and clean water are valued. Good stewards of the land grow cover crops to prevent erosion and replace nutrients used by their crops. Cover crops also capture carbon emissions and help combat global warming. According to some estimates, farmers who practice conservation tillage could sequester 12-14% of the carbon emitted by vehicles and industry. In addition, the habitat of a farm – the patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, ponds, and buildings – is the perfect environment for the many species of wildlife.


Summer Squash and Corn Chowder (Adapted from Cooking Light)

2 slices applewood-smoked bacon
3/4 cup sliced green onions, divided
1 pound yellow summer squash, chopped (zucchini would also work here)
1 pound farm fresh corn (yes, you can use frozen, but try not to!)
2 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
1 tablespoon dried chives

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon, and set aside. Add 1/2 cup onions and the squash to drippings in pan; sauté 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Reserve 1 cup corn; set aside.

Place the remaining corn and 1 cup milk in a blender; process until smooth. Add remaining 1 1/4 cups milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to blender; process just until combined. Add pureed mixture and reserved 1 cup corn to pan with the chives and bacon. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt. Ladle about 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1 tablespoon cheese.

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