This recipe is really 2 soups in one; the creamy zucchini soup base is excellent all on its own, where the simple, hearty flavor of summer squash is highlighted and enhanced by just a few supporting ingredients. It’s a perfect use for the exuberant excesses of summer squash, at once creamy, fresh, and light.
The chowder is another matter, smoky with a hint of fire, like the coals that smolder beneath blackened logs, studded with kernels of charred sweet corn. Which do we prefer? Well, they both have their place. Make them both, and decide for yourself, or step beyond dichotomies, and refuse to pick favorites.
This recipe is adapted from the Occidental Arts and Ecology Cookbook, a most delightful tome for the accomplished vegetable gardener or avid farmer’s market patron.
In a large stockpot, saute the onions and garlic on medium heat, with a generous pour of olive oil, until soft.
Add the broth, and simmer the soup on low for about 30 minutes, or until the zucchini is completely tender.
Blend the soup in a blender, or with an immersion blender.
If you are eating this soup as is, add the grated parmesan at this time, and stir it into the soup. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.
Stir or squeeze in the fresh lemon juice before serving, and serve with lemon wedges. That little bit of lemon really makes the flavors shine.
Shuck the corn, and allow it to blacken over the fire slightly, turning frequently. Remove the corn from the grill and reserve. Char the skins of the peppers over the fire evenly, until they are black all over. Set the corn aside and go to the next step for the peppers.
Place the peppers in a stockpot with a close fitting lid, so that they continue to cook and sweat in the heat generated from charring. After 30 minutes or more in the enclosed pot, they should be cooled down enough to process.
Slit the peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds, and rub the charred skin off with your hands. Slice the skinned peppers into thin strips.
Melt the butter in a skillet and fry the sage leaves on each side until they are crispy. Remove and let them cool. Crumble some to add to the soup, but reserve a few whole for garnish.
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