Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Summer Squash Chowder w/bacon #recipe from author @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl:

As with all soups, the recipe can be time intensive and messy, but OH SO GOOD. 

I saw this recipe in the LA times and it caught my eye. Because of the bacon and because I adore summer squash.

Summer Squash Chowder
LA Times Saturday August 24, 2019

The Times suggested that when summer squash wasn't in season to use butternut squash or zucchini.  I used yellow squash.  They also suggested that if you wanted to make this vegan, omit the bacon. 

Um…the bacon makes this so tasty, but, yes, I suppose you could use oil to replace the bacon fat that is in the pan after you fry it.  Then you would also need to switch out the milk with soy milk or almond milk. Whatever floats your boat.

I didn’t change anything. Well, I did. Yes. I can't lie. I used dried herbs instead of fresh, etc.  Had to modify the milk because I didn't have whole milk. Oy! I didn't include the garlic because it doesn't like me.  I noted all my tweaks.

I did cut the recipe in half and still had 4-5 hearty helpings of soup!


8 strips bacon, roughly chopped (oops, I forgot to chop it ahead of time; I broke it up later)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme (I used dried thyme; 1 teaspoon = 1 tablespoon fresh)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I didn’t use it; garlic doesn’t like me; didn’t miss it)
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (I used a sweet onion; yum)
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh (used dried; don’t have a bay leaf tree in my yard)
8 yellow summer squash (4 pounds) quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch thick pieces
6 cups whole milk (I didn’t have this either. I used 2 % and half and half)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 grinds of pepper
slices of extra squash for decoration
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Heat the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 12 minutes.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve for garnish, leaving the bacon fat in the pot. (I removed 2 tablespoons of the fat; it seemed like a lot!)

Melt the butter in the bacon fat then add the thyme, (garlic), celery, onion, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until the aromatics soften, about six minutes.  Stir in the squash, then cover the pot partially and cook, stirring occasionally until the squash is softened and reduced in volume by one-third, about 15 minutes.  Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, stirring as needed, until the liquid is concentrated and mostly evaporated, about 10 more minutes.

Pour in the milk and bring the chowder to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally to marry flavors and reduce the milk slightly, about 10 minutes.  (I simmered another 5 minutes. It didn't look thick enough.)  Remove the bay leaf and then use an immersion or standing mixer to puree.  (Um, don’t have an immersion and my standing mixer  didn’t do the trick, so I took 2/3 of the mixture and pureed in a blender. Perfect!)  I added it back to the sauté pan and added the vinegar and salt and pepper.  Be careful. The bacon is already salty! I think you could omit the salt.

Just before serving, thinly shave the additional squash for decoration.  Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with the thinly sliced squash, the reserved bacon, and a sprinkling of parsley.

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  1. Sounds lovely.
    I appreciate your adjustments. A confident cook goes bravely forward!