I’m completely pumped about my balcony tomato plants. Finally..finally…they are starting to produce tomatoes. It was funny because my parents came up to visit around Memorial Day weekend, and my mom and I bought the exact same plants. She took hers down to Indiana, where they have been producing fruit for over a month now…and mine are just now doing so. I’m blaming the incredibly mild Milwaukee summer we’ve had (although my air conditioner doesn’t mind…and neither does my bank account after paying my energy bills), but every single day, I walk out there to check on my little babies, urging them to get just a little bit redder and juicier so I can finally eat them with that fresh mozzarella I bought.
I’ve got various lines of basil and some kale growing, too, which is pretty much all the space I have for plants in a downtown spot. I used the first bit of kale for this recipe, and I’m going to be using some more of it tonight….to make this recipe again.
I haven’t tried converting this to a vegan soup, but I think it can be done without a loss of flavor here (just omit the milk and substitute in vegetable broth). I added in more vegetables to increase the nutritional content, including some red potatoes which, when pureed a bit, added to the creamy consistency that a chowder should (in my humble opinion) have. Add in what you have on hand. I’ve got an extra zucchini to use up, so that’s going in my second batch tonight. The favor profile is great, and you can make this as creamy as you like-just puree a bit longer using either a blender or an immersion blender.
It’s filling, pretty healthy, and chock full of wonderful summer veggies. Enjoy.
Summer Vegetable Chowder
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup sliced green onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 medium yellow summer squash, chopped
2 medium red potatoes, chopped
2 cups (or more, if you like) fresh yellow corn kernels (I used two ears of corn), divided
1 and 1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, but it will give it a really good bacon-ish flavor)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh kale leaves, torn and stems discarded
For garnish: cheese, green onions, etc.
1. In a Dutch oven or large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering.
2. Add the green onions, celery, squash and potatoes, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
3. Add 1 cup of the corn, mixing to combine. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.
4. Add in the milk, vegetable broth, paprika and salt, bringing the mixture to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes.
6. Very carefully (and this is optional), using an immersion blender or a blender, puree the soup until you reach your desired consistency.
7. Add in the remaining 1 cup of fresh corn kernels and the kale, stirring to combine. Let cook until the kale has wilted a bit, about another 5 minutes or so.
8. Garnish as desired, and enjoy.