Yesterday, I mentioned my struggle to find enjoyable uses for summer squash. Here is a recipe that my husband and I have really enjoyed this week. I first prepared it on Thursday, and then, since I had a new load of squash and corn from this morning’s farmers’ market, I cooked another batch tonight. Served alongside leftover crockpot BBQ chicken (recipe coming soon) and some garden-style cultured veggies, it was healthy, satisfying, and not at all squash-y. The flavor is mildly sweet with a tiny hint of earthiness and warmth.
Zucchini or yellow squash or a mixture of both may be used. I’m sure patty pans would work too. Only the color differs — pale green vs. pale yellow. I noticed very little difference in taste between the two batches I prepared. Although the recipe calls for both cumin and jalapeno, the final flavor is not overly south-of-the-border. If you want more Mexican flare, you could easily increase the amounts of these two ingredients. As is, the soup is quite mild. In the future, I’d like to try poblano peppers in place of the jalapenos, perhaps even roasted ones. I think that would taste divine!
Summer Squash and Corn Soup
(adapted from a recipeat Epicurious)
2 pounds summer squash
4 medium ears corn
4 large shallots or 1 medium onion (both taste great)
6 large cloves garlic
1 large jalapeno, seeds and white membranes removed and reserved
2 to 3 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste (depends on saltiness of chicken broth)
freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop the squash, shallots or onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Since the soup will eventually be pureed, you don’t need to get the pieces very small.
Cut corn kernels from the cobs and cut the cobs in thirds (cross-wise).
Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter, and when melted, add the garlic and shallots or onion. Cook slowly until very soft and beginning to caramelize. Stir in the cumin and stir just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the water, chicken broth, squash, jalapeno (reserving the seeds and membrane), corn kernels and cobs, and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the squash is very soft (this doesn’t take very long).
Halfway through the cooking, taste the broth and test for spiciness. If you’d like more heat, add some of the reserved seeds and membranes.
Once the squash is very soft, remove the corn cobs and puree the soup in a blender in batches (or use an immersion blender). I like to leave a few of the corn kernels behind in the pot, so that the end result isn’t completely smooth. A slightly chunky texture is nice.
Salt to taste and add a few generous grinds of black pepper. Adjust seasonings and serve.