With the heat of summer upon us, who wants a hot soup of all things? Well, I do sometimes for my dinner with a side salad. This light veggie filled soup uses summer vegetables with a light and mildly flavored broth to fill you up without weighing you down on a steamy summer evening. Pair a bowl of this Corn Chowder up with some sliced veggies with dip and a icy cold beverage and you’ll have a wonderfully nutritious summer meal that doesn’t leave you standing over the stove for hours waiting for the flavors to meld. You’re not going to boil this one away for hours like traditional chowders or feel stuffed from a heavy cream version like traditional chowders.
Fresh summer corn on the cob, a few potato chunks, some diced beets and sliced cucumbers are all this soup needs.
And the crunchy spicy croutons make a great topping to meld in with flavors from the broth as well.
The croutons can help use up some stale bread from those humid summer days as well. Homemade croutons are so delicious and easy to fry up in minutes. Or dehydrate a few bread slices if you’re really trying to avoid the oven’s heat.
I may be weird but I love to have a little crunch with my soups whether it’s in the veggies or a crispy topping like crackers. And these spicy croutons are perfect for adding that crunch as well as a punch of extra flavor.
- FOR THE SOUP:
- 2 Cooked Ears of Corn or 1 can
- 1 cup large cubed raw Potatoes (I used 9 - 10 baby potatoes cut in half) skins on
- 1- 2 Red Beets, cooked and diced (save cooking water for soup base)
- 1 Cup Cucumber, large diced
- 1½ cups Red Beans cooked or 1 can
- 5 Cups of water + 2 - 3 Tbs. Vegetable stock powder (or 5 Cups Soup Stock)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 tsp. garlic powder or 2 cloves diced
- FOR THE CROUTONS:
- 2 slices of hearty bread cut into large cubes - dried overnight or dehydrated
- ⅓ - ½ cup Olive Oil
- ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
- Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- For the soup:
- Combine all ingredients in a medium size stock pot and heat to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are just fork tender.
- Makes 4 servings.
- For the croutons:
- Cut 2 or 3 pieces of a dense thickly cut bread into large cubes.
- Leave the cubes out on the counter overnight to dry them or heat in a dehydrator or oven until they are crumbly and dry. Combine Oil, Garlic and red Pepper flakes. Place the dried bread cubes in a fry pan and drizzle with the Olive Oil mixture. Stir the bread cubes to coat them with the oil. With the heat on medium high, stir the bread cubes occasionally, turning them to brown all the sides.
- When the cubes have hardened up transfer them to a paper towel to soak up any extra oil. Store croutons in an air tight container but they are best served freshly made. They are great with soup or salad or crumble them up to make a bread crumb topping.
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