Several years ago, I made a really good corn chowder with zucchini, potatoes and all kinds of summer vegetables. The next year, I looked all over for the recipe but couldn't find it anywhere. I searched my Pinterest, a million blogs, random stacks of paper around the house, and everywhere else I could think of, all without luck.
After making several disappointing chowders, I gave up on corn chowder for a few years. But this summer, I wanted to try again. I decided to start from the ground up, trying to recreate that perfect chowder from memory. I wanted it to be creamy, full of vegetables and have super simple methods. It took a bit of tweaking, but I finally made the perfect chowder.
I loaded the soup with onions, celery, carrots, garlic, potatoes, corn, zucchini, tomatoes AND a jalapeño to make the most of summer produce. For the methods, I made the soup extra creamy by blending half of it (before adding in the corn, of course - I wanted to let the kernels shine) and adding in a can of coconut milk. Don't worry; it doesn't taste coconut-y, just creamy, healthy and satisfying. —Sustained Kitchen - Molly
Chop the onion, celery stalks and carrots, and mince the garlic cloves. In a large pot over medium heat, add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, olive oil and a few generous pinches of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent, stirring frequently to avoid burning. While those are sautéing, cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces.
Add the potatoes, water or vegetable broth and smoked paprika to the pot. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes have softened.
While that simmers, chop the zucchini and tomatoes into 1-inch pieces, dice the jalapeno and cut the corn off the cob. Set these aside. Then, use the back of your knife to scrape the corn cob juices and the corn kernels' roots into the pot. Doing this makes the soup more flavorful (and it's kind of fun).
Carefully remove about half of the soup from a pot and transfer it to a blender. If you do not have a blender, transfer it to a large bowl. Blend, immersion blend or mash half of the soup until it is very smooth. If you are using a blender, be very careful - the heat from the soup might cause the blender lid to lift. To avoid this, remove the center of the blender lid, and if you'd like to be extra cautious, only blend 1/4 of the soup at a time.
Return the blended soup to the pot. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, corn and jalapeño to the soup. Let simmer for another 5-10 minutes, or until the zucchini is soft. Then, stir in the coconut milk until fully incorporated. Taste and add more salt, smoked paprika or pepper as desired. Dig in!