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Make a golden soup using summer's bounty

Summer squash is one of the nicest produce items to show up every summer. Even though it is usually available all year around, summer seems like the time to combine it with corn in a beautiful soup that can be dinner on a Meatless Monday anytime.

I grew up with the corn soup that is a standard menu item in the fiestas and family parties that are always coming up in Guam's little island community. The Chamorro people of the Marianas Islands like to use coconut milk to make it, and believe me, you have to taste it to believe it.

In Guam it is also customary to include chopped cooked chicken in corn soup, which is certainly an option for you as well. But if you want to go over the top with deliciousness, try this on a lucky guest one summer evening.

SUMMER SQUASH AND FRESH CORN SOUP

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon organic olive oil
1 medium organic shallot, minced
2 medium organic summer squash (about 1 pound), diced
3 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme or oregano, divided
1 cup organic chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup light organic coconut milk (canned style)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup fresh organic corn kernels
1 teaspoon organic lemon juice
¼ cup crumbled organic feta cheese

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the squash and 1 teaspoon of the herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash starts to soften, 3-5 minutes.

Add the broth, coconut milk and salt; bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes more. Using an immersion blender, process the soup until it has a uniform texture.

Return the soup to the pan and stir in the corn. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender, 3-5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Serve garnished with the remaining 2 teaspoons herbs and cheese.

To remove corn from the cob, cut the small end of an ear of corn and stand it in a shallow bowl. Slice the kernels off with a circular tool that you can find in a store like Bed, Bath & Beyond in Tucson. If making a soup, after cutting off the kernels, you can use the dull side of an ordinary knife to press down the length of the ear to push out the rest of the corn and its liquid.

This soup will also work if you use frozen cut corn, but I wouldn't use canned corn, which is going to need its canning liquid to keep any flavor at all, and that will throw off your flavor and add the taste of cans where it isn't wanted.

For more info: check out my awesome video for understanding of how Lemon Grass is used in flavoring corn soup.