I love soups in the fall and winter! And here in the Pacific Northwest, we got hit hard this winter with ice storms, freezing temperatures and snow, which is pretty unusual. So on a magical snow day, I went to my fridge, saw this beautiful organic zucchini and came up with this Zesty Zucchini Chowder.
I wanted something quick and simple. I wanted something that didn’t require a lot of cooking or prepping and where zucchini will be the star of the dish. This would be a great soup for a last minute lunch or dinner idea. And this is a quick meal if you are short on prep time to get dinner to a busy, hungry family in a hurry.
Let’s Make the Chowder
First, grab your zukes and wash and chop them. I like to quarter them into nice bite sizes for the chowder.
I made this a little differently from when I created this post and took some of my photos. (See NOTE below.)
What I did differently was after chopping the zucchini, melt 2 TBSP of butter in a big sauce pan. Once melted, toss in zucchini just until it becomes lightly browned and softened.
Sprinkle 2 TBSP flour (I used GF) until well coated. Cook for about 2 minutes. Stream in the stock (chicken or veggie).
Now add veggies and spices. Once it was slightly bubbling, turn heat to low, put a cover on. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the zucchini and corn (frozen) are tender.
NOTE: The reason I tossed in the zucchini with the butter (unlike the photos below where I tossed the veggies in all at once) was because my first batch with the zucchini tossed in, the peel was a little rough and tough. Sautéing the zucchini in butter first gets it nice and soft, especially the skins.
After your soup has simmered and your zucchini is tender, it’s time to add the milk and cheese to make this creamy and cheesy.
I like to use 2% milk just for less fat. To make this zesty I like to add pepper-jack cheese. But this will work great with any cheese you have on hand from cheddar to Monterey Jack. If you use one of these other cheeses, I would add in some extra seasoning such as chili powder, garlic and cumin or chilis. And as you will learn about me, I am a self-proclaimed ‘spice wimp’, so when I say zesty, it is pretty mild. Don’t judge!
Ladle up the chowder into soup bowls and top with more cheese, parsley or cilantro. Enjoy!
Zesty Zucchini Chowder
A perfect fall or winter chowder to warm you up when it's chilly outside.
- 2 TBSP butter
- 2 medium zucchini, washed, cut and quartered
- 2 TBSP flour
- 1 can diced mild green chilis
- 10 oz. frozen corn
- 2 cups of Chicken/veggie broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup pepper-jack cheese
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Parsley or cilantro to garnish if desired
- Melt 2 TBSP butter in sauce pan.
- Add quartered zucchini.
- Cook until zucchini is softened.
- Add 2 TBSP flour, mix well.
- Stream in 2 cups of Chicken/veggie broth and stir continuously to thicken.
- Add in corn, diced chilis, salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin.
- Bring to a slow boil, turn heat down to a simmer, cover with lid and cook for about 5 – 10 minutes until zucchini and corn are tender.
- Add in milk; heat until warmed.
- Add cheese and parsley for garnish if desired.