Summer Squash and Fresh Corn Soup
It's zucchini and summer squash season...an old joke in Maine is that you have to be sure your car doors are locked in August when you go to pick up the mail or you'll find the car full of zucchini when you get back! And I guess the growing conditions are pretty good this year, since I got a single summer squash in my farm share box last week that was just two ounces shy of two pounds...
My friend Alanna, the Veggievangelist, posted a nice cream of zucchini soup the other day, and it sounded so perfect that I set out to make her recipe (which she said was adapted from Julia Child's The Way to Cook) but of course I can't help going my own way once I'm in the kitchen, even if the map is from Julia by way of Alanna.
The presence of a couple of leftover ears of fresh Maine corn influenced me, of course, and the incredibly flavorful celery on hand from last week's farm share box also was crying out to be included, as was some tarragon from the herb garden and some of the nice carrots that also came in from the Wolf Pine farmers. Oh - and I tossed in some saffron to juice up the already-beautiful yellow color.
I usually make soups with my left hand while I'm cooking something else for dinner, and often over several nights, so this was no exception. I think the flavor gets better if the ingredients have some time to get to know each other. In any case, this was easy and also a big hit around here. I served it with salad from the Wolf Pine Farm box, and the usual casual summer supper accompaniments, white wine and crusty French bread from Standard Bakery.
If you're really swimming in zucchini and summer squash you might be interested a couple of other recipes from the Stephencooks archive -- both of which just scream summer on the farm:
Summer Squash and Fresh Corn Soup
1-1/2 lb summer squash, ends trimmed
3 C vegetable broth
2 C water
2 C milk
1 C uncooked rice
1 medium onion, chopped
2 T olive oil
2 stalks celery with leaves if available, chopped
6 stalks flat leaf parsley, plus more leaves for garnish
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 T fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp crushed saffron
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (or more) ears cooked fresh corn
1/2 C sour cream
salt, hot sauce to tastes
Shred the summer squash through the largest holes in a box grater or similar tool. Remove the corn from the cobs. Set both aside.
Sauté the onions in the olive oil for a couple of minutes on medium-high heat, stirring. Add the rice and lower the heat to medium. Cook, stirring, for five or six minutes. Add the water, broth, milk, celery, carrot, parsley stalks, tarragon, saffron and thyme. Add 3/4 of the shredded squash and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Refrigerate overnight and then purée (Alanna uses a blender, which gives you a very smooth soup; I used a food processor which, due to the larger capacity, is quicker; do be careful if you decide to do this before the soup has cooled completely).
Warm the soup gently over medium heat, stirring. Add the remaining squash and the garlic and simmer another five minutes or so. Stir in the sour cream and correct the seasoning.
To serve, ladle into flat soup dishes and mound a pile of the corn in the center of the plate. Garnish with parsley if desired.
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