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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Corn Chowder

Stewing Over Soup

As the weather gets cooler and the days get shorter, the cravings of a warm bowl of soup get stronger. Of course, the same goes for bisque, chowder or stew. While your taste buds may not care, there is a difference between them.

The word "soup" generally refers to ingredients, such as meat and vegetables, cooked in a large amount of liquid like broth or juice. Soups may be clear, like chicken noodle, or thick, like any cream soup. A bisque is a thick, rich soup usually consisting of pureed shellfish and cream. Lobster bisque is a common favorite, but so is shrimp and crawfish. The broth and the meat are sautéed with aromatics and then thickened with rice, cream or roux. It's then pureed into a smooth soup. A tomato bisque is not truly a bisque but rather a cream soup. However, "tomato bisque" generally sells more than simply calling it "cream of tomato soup!"

A chowder is similar to a bisque, but rather than being smooth, it is thick and chunky. It may also include seafood and/or vegetables like New England clam chowder or corn chowder. Cream or milk are added to give it a smooth richness. Stew, on the other hand, is made from solid ingredients, such as potatoes and meat, that have been cooked in a liquid. The result forms portions of ingredients in a gravy-like consistency rather than a thin liquid. Dig your spoon into any type of soup or stew you choose!

Fresh Corn and Vegetable Chowder (Printable PDF)

2 strips low sodium turkey bacon, chopped

1 Tablespoon trans-fat free margarine

1 cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped celery

1 large garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon dried thyme

4 cups water

2 medium potatoes, diced

1 bay leaf

4 ears fresh corn, cut off ear or 2 ¾ cup frozen

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 cup fat-free half and half

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, heat bacon and cook 3-4 minutes. Add margarine, stirring until melted. Add onion, celery, garlic and thyme. Cook until veggies begin to soften. Add water, potatoes and bay leaf. Cover, and simmer until potatoes are partially cooked. Add corn and zucchini and simmer an additional 8-10 minutes until all vegetables are tender. Discard the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until half of it is smooth. Add half and half, salt and pepper. Cook until just heated through.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 150 calories, 3 grams fat, 230 milligrams sodium, 28 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 5 grams protein

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