One of the easiest ways to use fresh summer produce is in a luscious seasonal soup. I know, it’s hot outside, but your AC is probably on full blast, and soup is an inside dish. Corn soup (…and its many versions) is a longtime favorite around South Louisiana, but adding squash to the mix creates depth and wholesome goodness. Thanks to the Red Stick Farmers Market for planting the seed with their annual Corn & Squash-tastic event last Saturday celebrating the summer bounty. The idea of combining the two got stuck in my head and led to this simple recipe, which gives me a chance to do something different with yellow squash. I admit to getting stuck sometimes on expanding my use for it.
This soup tastes rich, but it’s really pretty healthy. A portion of the corn is pureed with a little broth to create a creamy consistency without actually using cream.
Corn & Squash Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped bell pepper (any color)
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
3 cups fresh corn kernels
1 cup diced fresh yellow squash
4-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade, 1/3 cup set aside
2 bay leaves
1 cup chopped fresh tomato (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cooked shrimp or basil leaves for garnish
Heat olive oil and butter in a Dutch oven to medium high. Add onions, celery and bell pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic, 2 cups of corn and squash and sauté for 3 minutes. Add remaining cup of corn to food processor or blender with 1/3 cup of stock. Puree until smooth and return to pan with vegetables.
Whisk in stock slowly, using less if you prefer a thicker consistency. Add bay leaves. Add tomatoes if you are using them. Let mixture simmer for 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with a single shrimp or fresh bay leaves. Fresh chives and dill are delicious, too.