It’s happening already. It’s only February, and I’m starting to get the itch for the next season- warmer weather, the return of color to the hillsides, longer days, a variety of outdoor activities, different flavors and foods. (And flip-flops! I miss my flip-flops.) But Mother Nature has other ideas. After five years in Park City, I know we’ll continue to get rogue snowstorms well into April! Maybe I can’t do much to speed springtime along, but I can create something in my kitchen that reminds me of warmer days. That’s where this Zucchini, Charred Corn, and Crab Soup comes in: fresh ingredients in comfort food form. Win-win!
An easy way to make it feel like summer? Fire up the grill! I turned a few ears of corn over the flame for a few minutes. Yes, it was snowing outside and it was the indoor grill, but that char adds delicious flavor. I imagined John at the BBQ outside in bare feet while Oden and I count flowers in the yard. Soon enough, big guy, soon enough!
Next, I chopped up a few slices of bacon and got them browning in a soup pot. (Cholula “supervised” and willed me to drop pork products into her mouth.) While the bacon browned, I chopped up the veggies: celery, carrot, potato, onion, and zucchini. Don’t forget the garlic!
I removed the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon (setting aside a couple of bits for my ever-hopeful dog) and tossed in the onion, carrot, and celery right into the bacon juice. When the veggies had started to become tender, I added the garlic, a palm-full of dried thyme, and the potato and let everything cook for a while. Then I poured in some chicken stock and water and added a bay leaf.
Meanwhile, I cut the charred kernels off of the corn cobs. Into the pot they went, along with the zucchini. Sweet corn and zucchini- so summery! For a hint of heat, I sprinkled in a couple dashes of cayenne pepper and brought the pot of soup to a boil before lowering the heat to a simmer. I let it bubble away for a bit until the potatoes were tender.
There are just a few more things to add to this tasty soup! I stirred in about ¾ cup of milk (to add that “creaminess” without too much fat). I tucked my emulsifier into the pot and pureed about 1/3 of the soup, leaving most of it chunky. Next, I stirred in some crab meat. Yum! Something about sweet corn and seafood goes so well together, but you could leave the crab out completely. Last, I stirred in some chopped parsley for freshness. After a few minutes, I tasted the soup, adjusted the seasonings, and called John for dinner. Let’s eat!
Delicious! Adding the milk and partially pureeing the soup makes it feel decadent and creamy, but it’s actually quite light. There’s a touch of summer in the charred corn and fresh zucchini, and the crab adds a subtly sweet brininess that I just love. Fresh herbs bring comfort food to life, so I topped the soup with more parsley and we dipped crusty bread into our bowls.
What’s fun about this soup is that it’s totally appropriate to make in the summer, too! I’ll pick zucchini from the garden and grab some fresh summer corn from the farmers market, and will probably daydream about wintertime while I make it! Isn’t that just the way it goes? For now, I made enough of this soup to tuck some into the freezer for later this winter, on another evening when my flip-flops are replaced by my slippers and I’m craving the tastes of summer.
Zucchini, Charred Corn, and Crab Soup
- 4 ears of shucked corn, rubbed with olive oil
- 5 pieces of bacon, chopped
- 2 small carrots, chopped
- 3 ribs of celery, chopped
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, small diced
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 zucchini, chopped
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup claw crab meat
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crusty bread for serving
On a BBQ or indoor grill, char all sides of the corn. Allow to cool before cutting the kernels off of the cobs. Set aside.
In a soup pot, cook the bacon until just browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the bacon grease, sauté the onion, carrot, and celery for five minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the thyme, garlic, and potatoes and return the bacon to the pot. Cook for another five minutes or so, until the potatoes are starting to soften. Add the chicken stock, water, and bay leaf. Add the corn and zucchini. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and allow to cook until the potatoes are tender, another ten minutes or so. Add the cayenne pepper and milk. Using a hand blender, puree a small amount of the soup, leaving most of it chunky. Add the crab meat and most of the parsley, saving some of the herbs for garnish. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve topped with fresh parsley with crusty bread on the side for dipping. If it’s winter, dream of summer. If it’s summer, dream of winter. YUM!
Hungry for more? Check out my collection of recipes on the FOOD BLISS page.
One year ago: I shared some photos from my last hikes as a mama-to-be.