Curried corn and yellow summer squash soup is a perfect warming dish to kick off fall with. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

The weather cools and pumpkins ripen, but summer isn’t over in the vegetable garden.

Summer squashes that haven’t succumbed to powdery mildew or sheer exhaustion are still setting and maturing fruit, so every couple days we venture forth and collect up lovely zucchinis, yellow squash and patty pans. Believe me, there are days when I think I might just yank up the plants to slow the flow of vegetables.

So, necessity combined with a recipe I spotted for a curried corn soup in a book written in the 1940s suggested to me the soup that follows.

I already had on hand a recipe for a zucchini soup flavored lightly with curry and dill, so it was a small leap to add corn and a little more curry to cooked and pureed yellow squash.

I started with a rib of celery and a small onion, chopped and sauteed in olive oil. I grated a medium yellow squash, about a half a pound, which produced about two cups of grated squash. You can be pretty flexible with this, because your squash might be a little smaller or larger. Round up or down to the nearest whole vegetable. I added that to the celery and onion and about five minutes later they were soft, at which point I added about two cups of chicken broth. You can produce a vegetarian version by using vegetable bouillon or miso. Then I pureed it with my good old stick blender.

I decided to use corn cut right off a cob because we gathered up the very last of corn cobs today, all smallish. I needed only one cob. You can use fresh, canned or frozen corn. I decided I wanted some texture in the soup so I cooked the kernels in the pureed squash mixture. For a small quantity of soup, I needed only a shake of curry powder, probably a couple teaspoons full. Add it to taste.

The zuke soup calls for cream cheese melted in it to enrich it. The curried corn and squash can use cream cheese or sour cream, Greek-style yogurt, a dab of mayonnaise or a splash of cream. I had about two tablespoons of cream cheese that I tossed in and which melted beautifully. Feel free to add more bouillon, milk or cream, or water to thin the soup out to your taste.

Serve it with chutney and a wee bit of sour cream if you want.

Now if you have a plentiful supply of the squash and corn you might consider taking the directions as far as the puree-squash-and-add-corn stage, then freezing it as a soup base for later. Or you can grate the squash and cut the corn off the cob and freeze them to add to the recipe at a later date.

That’s it. Handy soup for lunch, good warm or room temperature. For a more substantial meal, add salad and crusty bread. If you want meat, add some cooked chicken. Play with this general idea and know that you’ll end up with something wholesome to eat. Just don’t sweat the details too much.

Curried Summer Squash and Corn Soup

Makes two to three servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 rib of celery, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 medium summer squash, grated, about 2 cups

2 cups bouillon or broth, chicken or vegetable

1 cob of corn, kernels cut off

2 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste

Cream, cream cheese, yogurt, sour cream to taste (optional)

Put the olive oil into a small soup pot, and add the celery and onions, cooking them for about five minutes over a medium heat.

Stir in the grated squash and cook for five minutes or until the squash is soft, stirring from time to time.

Add the bouillon or water, and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for another five minutes. Puree.

Add the corn and curry powder to the pureed mixture and simmer until the corn is cooked.

Take soup off the heat and add the cream cheese, cream or other dairy products, stirring to blend.


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Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...