Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ronda from~ The Family Table, brings us "Summer Squash and Corn Chowder"

Today has been a big cooking day with the kids. This morning, Collin, our 10 year old, asked to make banana chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. I walked him step by step though it all and he even mastered the flip which was fun to watch. Our 13 year old, Grace, asked to pick dinner and chose Summer Squash and Corn Chowder.  It isn’t summer, but anytime one of the kids asks to make something with summer squash in it, I am going to bend over backwards to get it made! For dessert she and our youngest, Ashton (age 7), asked to make homemade almond joy bars. I’ll be letting her work with him alone which I hope will foster a deeper connection between the two.  I can’t wait to try their creation!
So, off to Whole Foods I went this afternoon in search of anything resembling fresh summer squash. In a tiny corner of the produce department, I managed to scrape up two of the tiniest little summer squash ever and had a little chuckle thinking of Jesus with the loaves and fish. I was sure hoping I could manage to stretch those two little squash to make this soup for the four us (the fifth was at a sleepover) but knew that I’d have to improvise on this one. 
My solution was to make up the bulk with green zucchini which turned out to be just perfect. The following recipe fed four of us, but I will definitely double the batch for the next go round as we licked the pot clean. 
Summer Squash and Corn Chowder
Adapted from Cooking Light Top Rated Recipes
6 slices applewood smoked bacon 
2 T reserved bacon drippings
3/4 cup sliced green onions
1 pound sliced yellow summer squash and/or zucchini 
1 pound frozen sweet white corn, thawed 
2 1/2 - 3 cups 2% lacto free milk
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
Cook bacon on a foil lined pan at 375 degrees until crisp. While bacon cooks, take half of milk and put in a Vitamix blender or heavy duty cuisinart. Add all but 1 cup of corn and puree until smooth. Add salt and cayenne then blend. Pour 2 T of bacon drippings into a dutch oven. Add green onions and squash/zucchini and saute until crisp tender. Pour milk/corn mixture with rest of corn into pot and cook over low heat for about 7 minutes or until hot and thick. To serve soup, top with shredded cheese, chopped bacon bits and a sprinkle of green onions.
The bacon adds a nice dimension but it certainly can be left out to make a vegetarian version. Just add canola oil to the pot and sautee the vegetables; proceed as directed.
Soup before adding milk and corn
Grace enjoyed washing and chopping the vegetables while I worked on the blender portion. With both of us cooking and cleaning up, dinner was on the table in a flash. She was thrilled with the new version and as a mama I was pleased to get so many yummy veggies into the kids.
Note* I have made this soup with freshly shucked corn and it did not turn out nearly as smooth and delicious as when we used the frozen corn. There were just too many fiberous bits that didn’t blend to make that silky smooth texture that gives this soup such a rich feel.
Wishing you all a blessed week full of memorable family moments!
love, Ronda from ......The Family Table

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