The other day, Larry came home with a H-U-G-E zucchini that one of his co-workers brought in. My first reaction was “OMG! What am I going to do with this?” Well obviously I am going to be making quite a few things with it because there is so much of it.
The first thing I made with it was some delicious corn, zucchini, chicken and sausage chowder. YUM! But, I only used about 1/3 of this huge zucchini. Larry was positive I could use the whole thing in the soup, whereas I knew unless I was making an even bigger pot of soup than I normally do, there was no way it was all going to get used in this batch of soup. As I make more zucchini dishes, you will hear all the details, fresh off the press and out of the kitchen.
Even though it wasn’t exactly the soupiest of days, soup was just what I needed. Soup is a great comfort food, and I needed a little comforting. It just hit the spot. I grew up with this picture and still have it hanging in my kitchen today. This is one of my favorite pictures, and to me, it speaks volumes. Keep it simple and stay humble.
I am one of those people who actually likes “stuff in my stuff”. Why have less when you can have more, right?! This is a simple soup really, but has a lot of good, healthy foods in it, making it more like a meal than just soup or, in this case, chowder. I LOVE my thick creamy chowders. Most chowders always have potatoes and bacon in them. That’s part of what makes them a chowder, or at least, this is what some of my old chef instructors taught me while I was back in culinary school, many, many moons ago. I have always stuck to this theory when making chowders too.
Corn, Zucchini, Chicken and Sausage Chowder
1- 1 1/2 cups zucchini, diced fine
1 lb (or more) frozen corn
2 lbs chicken, cubed small
2 medium potatoes, diced small
1/2 lb bacon, diced
1 lb cooked sausage, diced
2 TBSP garlic
2 large shallots or 1 white onion, diced fine
1-2 cups heavy whipping cream
6-8 cups chicken broth
flour to thicken (amount will vary depending on how thick you like your chowder)
salt & pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
5-6 sprigs of thyme, stems removed
Cook the potatoes and bacon together until the potatoes are soft and the bacon is cooked. You can cook the chicken at the same time in a different pan.
Once the bacon and potatoes are cooked, or at least mostly cooked, you can add the vegetables. Continue to cook until the vegetables are soft and the shallots are translucent.
I added a “secret spice” to my chicken as it was cooking. Some friends of ours have an exchange student from Israel who is now staying with them for the school year, and she brought over some Ka’taar that her mother made. She gave me some and I decided to add some to my soup. I probably added about 2 tsp. I loved it.
When the chicken is completely cooked, add it and the sausage to the mixture and combine well. Then add the chicken broth and the seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cream and combine well. If you like a thicker chowder, add some flour. Add as much as you like to make your desired thickness. Continue to simmer the chowder for at least about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, before serving.
When the chowder is ready, serve it up and serve with some warmed bread and a glass or two of wine for a simple, yet hearty meal. Soup, or chowder, always hits the spot.