These recipes originally appear in the June 2022 issue of HomeLife Magazine.
Splash into a summer favorite.
The month of June brings plenty of opportunities to host family and friends at our beloved lake house. In anticipation of our time together, I like to seek out new recipe ideas to add to my summertime collection, but in doing so I always seem to stumble when it comes to lunch ideas. So much so that when others offer to contribute to the weekend, I conveniently transfer the challenge of lunch to them. I suppose my lunch dilemma is rooted in “make it fast, keep it light,” which always steers me toward salads and sandwiches. Little did I know a surprise solution was waiting just down the road.
The path to our lake house is a two-lane ribbon of asphalt that hypnotically winds through small towns and hilly farmland, where Herefords stoically stand guard over their calves. At little more than an hour’s drive, it’s enough time to dissolve the stressors of everyday life, as they float away on the babbling brooks that run roadside. Rounding a bend, we came upon a family-run produce stand brimming with ripened harvest. Not in any real hurry, we decided to pull over and treat ourselves to the experience of local produce bought straight from the farm. Upon seeing the ears of corn, I recalled tucking away a new recipe in case I ever found myself within reach of the freshest of the fresh. Thumbing quickly through my cellphone, I found the sweet-and-spicy summer corn chowder recipe I had saved. Because its ingredients include the heat of jalapeño and cayenne, it seems the perfect soup to serve in warm weather, and its sweet creaminess would make a meal.
Ever so hopeful, I grabbed six ears of corn, some onions, a few tricolored peppers, a jalapeño, and down the road we went.
Later that day, a summer rainstorm surprised us while out on the boat. As we raced for cover back to our screened-in porch nestled high among the trees, I alerted everyone to the goodness I had waiting for us in the slow cooker. To the sound of rain on our tin roof, we devoured the sweet-and-spicy chowder to great success.
I can’t tell you how relieved I was to find another option to add to my summertime lunch repertoire.
So inspired, I went on the hunt to find more summer soups. My newest favorite — cauliflower soup — was gleaned from my cousin, Kim. As much as I’m a fan of cauliflower, I’ll admit I wasn’t excited when she first suggested it. But don’t let the name fool you; it’s a summer spectacular! Both light and freshing, it’s loaded with texture. I’m usually cautious about building too big an expectation around any culinary experience, but I’m breaking my rule to say, “Wow, just wow!”
My last recipe is a true game-changer for me. I’ll be honest, I had soup pegged as merely a seasonal treat, which is probably why I’ve never taken the time to seek out a tomato-rich gazpacho recipe. Try as I may, I couldn’t make a chilled soup make sense to me until now. It pairs beautifully with crusty bread, pasta salad, or grilled protein.
This summer splash your spoon into these light, fresh, and aromatic soup recipes — and shop local!
Sweet-and-Spicy Summer Corn Chowder ▶ Makes 6 servings
4 Tbsp. butter
1 red pepper (seeded and chopped)
1 green pepper (seeded and chopped)
1 small red onion (diced)
1 medium jalapeño pepper (seeded and diced small)
1/4 c. all purpose flour
32 oz. chicken stock
1-1/2 c. heavy cream
4 c. sweet corn kernels (fresh, canned, or frozen)
4 medium petite red potatoes (diced small)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/2 c. cilantro for garnish (chopped)
In a stockpot over medium high heat, melt butter and sauté peppers and onion for four minutes. Add flour and stir to combine and form a light paste. Add broth and continue stirring until combined. Add cream, corn, potatoes, and spices. Stir well and continue to cook until potatoes are tender.
Tip from Laura: Look for Silver Queen corn; it’s a classic white sugary variety recognized for its crisp sweet kernels.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup ▼ Makes 6 servings
1 stick butter (divided)
1 small white onion (chopped)
2 carrots (peeled and diced)
2 stalks celery (diced)
2 heads cauliflower (chopped)
2 Tbsp. parsley (chopped)
8 c. chicken broth
6 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 c. whole milk
1 c. half and half
2 tsp. salt
In a large stock pot over medium heat, add four tablespoons of butter. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add carrots, celery, cauliflower, and parsley, stirring to combine. Add chicken stock. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. In another smaller saucepan over low heat, melt remaining four tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour until well combined, then add milk and half and half. Add milk mixture to pot of vegetables and stir well. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Gazpacho ▲ Makes 6 servings
5 large ripe tomatoes
1/2 English cucumber (peeled)
1/2 red pepper (seeded and diced)
1/2 jalapeño pepper (seeded and diced)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/2 small onion (diced)
3 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves (chopped)
3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves (chopped)
Juice of 1 lime
1 c. tomato juice
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Sherry vinegar (to taste)
Put all the vegetables, juice, and herbs in a food processor or blender and pulse until a course but homogeneous soup has formed. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Sherry vinegar.
Tip from Laura: Make the Gazpacho soup 24 hours in advance to enhance the flavor.
Laura Schupp is the author of Our Newlywed Kitchen: The Art of Cooking, Gathering & Creating Traditions. Learn more about Laura at OurNewlywedKitchen.com.