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BBQ Corn Chowder

I love this summer soup, and since Ontario corn has been making appearances in local groceries, I thought I’d whip some up today. I make it a little different each time and I don’t follow a recipe, but I can tell you how I went about it today.

I fired up our charcoal bbq and brought it up to a pretty high temperature. For those of you who like to grill with gas instead of charcoal I suppose that would do in a pinch, but what you’re looking for here is the kind of yummy smokiness you get with charcoal. I grilled up 5 ears of corn until they attained plenty of browny bits all around. I’ve heard that some people find it necessary to soak their corn in water for a while before they grill it, but that’s a total mystery to me. Go forth without fear and plop those ears right on the grill. Nothing bad will happen, I promise. I happened to have picked a couple zucchini from the garden so I sliced one up and grilled it too, because why not?

Next step happens back inside the house. Chop up an onion, the zucchini, a couple cloves of garlic and a big handful of sage from the garden. Chop up a piece of pancetta (optional but recommended) and toss it in the pot and start rendering it on medium heat. Add the other ingredients you just chopped up and let good things happen. Add some salt, but be careful if your pancetta is salty. Meanwhile, cut the kernals off the cobs and when that’s done, toss in the corn. After a while add some water and let the whole business simmer for a while. I added some smoked paprika and some freshly ground pepper and a little cayenne.

I removed half the soup and using an immersion blender, pureed it throroughly, then add it back into the rest of the soup. I checked and adjusted seasonings and let it simmer a while longer. You could finish it with cream but we never have cream around here. Instead, I tossed in a dollop of butter and once that melted in, I added a cup of milk.

When you’re ready to serve, chop in some parsley (yep, growing in the garden).

There are loads of possible variations and they’re all really delicious. Do it the way you like it. The smoky bbq corn and zucchini are the heart and soul of this yummy summer soup. Enjoy.

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