Thursday, August 27

San Diego Summer: Time For Creamy Corn and Zucchini Soup

zucchini and corn curry soup

Last week I was shopping in Marshall's when someone tapped me on my shoulder. I turned around to find a petite woman wearing a sleeveless black mini-dress and flip-flops; she was visibly shivering. "Excuse me," she said, "Do you know where they sell leggings?" I instantly thought, tourist.

I directed her towards the leggings (and the jackets), and asked her, "Are you visiting?" She replied, "Yeah. And I'm freezing! I thought San Diego was supposed to have perfect weather all the time? I'm from New York, and it's warmer there than here!" She thanked me, then scampered away, vigorously rubbing her arms for warmth.

That's the thing about San Diego. Our summers aren't like the rest of the country's. Although we have occasional heat spikes, the temps usually hover in the 70's and dip in the morning and evening. Most people aren't expecting such cool temps in August, and they're certainly not expecting overcast or drizzly weather like we had last week.

If you're feeling envious, don't worry. Hot weather will strike in September and October. That's when hot, dry desert air will turn most of Southern California into a pizza oven. Just as the rest of the country starts wearing sweaters and eating stews, we'll be in spaghetti straps and eating salads.

zucchini and corn curry soup

We certainly won't be making soup, so I have decided to enjoy my fall soup season now. It may not be chilly enough to wear my fleece, but it's just the right weather for a bowl of Creamy Corn and Zucchini Curry Soup with Corn Relish. Summer time staples such as sweet corn on the cob, tender zucchini, and fragrant cilantro are warmed up with earthy potatoes, hot curry, and soothing coconut milk for a soup that transitions deliciously from summer to autumn.

Apparently I'd better hurry up and finish my soup. We're expecting one of those occasional heat spikes this weekend. So much for wearing my fleece.

Creamy Corn and Zucchini Curry Soup with Corn Relish
Makes 4 servings.
Print recipe only here.

Note: This soup tastes even better the next day. So it's a good meal to make over the weekend for a quick and easy mid-week dinner.

Corn Relish:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup fresh corn kernels (or canned)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
salt, to taste

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups fresh corn kernels from 2 ears (or canned)
3 cups chopped zucchini (2 medium)
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (the more the seeds, the hotter the flavor)
2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon hot curry powder
1 (15 ounce) can regular or light coconut milk
juice of 1 lime (3-4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup each finely chopped fresh cilantro and mint

1. To make the relish, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels, red pepper, and green onions, cooking until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat, and add fresh cilantro and salt, to taste. Set aside.

2. In a deep pot over medium-high heat, melt butter. Saute onions for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add potatoes and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; add corn kernels, zucchini, jalapeno, ginger, salt, and curry powder, and stir well. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, and herbs. Turn off heat and cool for 10 minutes.

3. Puree soup in two batches until smooth, and return to the pot over medium-low heat.

4. Taste it, and adjust seasonings accordingly. Garnish each serving with a spoonful of corn relish.

You might also enjoy these soups:

New England Clam Chowder

Curried Red Lentil, Chickpea, and Kale Soup

Here are more soups featuring corn and zucchini:
Chilled Corn Soup at Cooking With Amy
Thai Chicken and Corn Chowder at Slashfood
Cream of Zucchini Soup at A Veggie Venture
Zucchini Pear Soup at Bitten (NYT) with Mark Bittman


Beth said...

This looks amazing- I love curry, coconut milk, and cilantro, but I'll wait a while until a dip in the temperature in Nashville before trying it out! I'm snickering about the misconception of SD weather- when I lived there I would always have my friends and family visit in October becuase it's the best month of the whole year. Never let them come during June gloom, that's for sure!

whitneyingram said...

I made something really similar to this, but with yellow squash. Even though my summer is much hotter than San Diego (think 90 and above), soup still was quite welcome. Makes me excited for autumn. Butternut squash soup makes my belly smile.

Brilliant idea with the relish, btw.

Katie @ goodLife {eats} said...

That looks fantastic. I love all the ingredients and I bet it's so comforting on a cold day.

The Duo Dishes said...

San Diego and San Francisco are funny places for weather in CA. LA's somewhere in the middle...which probably makes sense. ha Regardless, we get cravings for soup year round, although sweet corn season is the best time for this one.

londonfoodieny said...

yum-that looks so comforting. still to hot here but I shall save it for a months time when I'll be desperate for the flavours of summer but feeling the need for something hot!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Beautiful and different! This summer soup is really appetizing!



Stephanie Appleton said...

Where was this recipe when I was knee deep in zucchini? Just pulled my last plant out today!

Juliana said...

This soup sounds and looks so the idea of adding cilantro and mint...yummie!

nora@ffr said...

vat a perfect soup!! love it and love the pretty colors :D:D

Jennifer said...

Many of the flavors I covet are at play in this soup---ginger, coconut milk, curry, corn, cilantro and mint---now I may look forward to the cooler weather.

Unknown said...

I'm bookmarking this yummy looking soup, Susan!I love all these ingredients from the Yukon Gold Potatoes, to the corn relish.
Our August has been quite strange; 85 degrees instead of 100! I'm not complaining though!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

beth-Nashville? Oh, yeah. You should definitely wait for soup! You're sweltering enough already. I know what you mean, people are often surprised at SD's weather.

rookiecookie-"Butternut squash soup makes my belly smile." I love that.

katie-Thank you!

duodishes-Yeah, that's about right. I agree, soup always tastes delicious.

londonfoodieny-It really is a bowl of comfort.

rosa-I appreciate that!

stephanie-Seriously? I thought you'd still be going strong through Sept!

juliana-The herbs really add some punch!

nora- Vy, thank you!

jennifer-I think you may too.

lynda-I really love the corn relish too. It adds delicious texture.

Leslie said...

Of course you post this recipe today when many areas around San Diego hit the century mark. I was going to bake some eggplant pasta today, but it was just too dang hot. I'll save this recipe for the perfect cool SD day though, looks yummy.

Jane said...

Hello Food Blogga

I don't have a food blog but I love everything about food. I felt it was about time that I told you that I've dropped by your blog on n off for quite a while now - it's the chicken soup to my soul. You're very humourous and your food looks amazing! Keep up the great inspiring recipes and all the best for your upcoming Sandwich book - not sure if we'll get it here in India but will keep a look out for it. Take care.


T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Gorgeous photos - the corn relish just pops, and looks so hearty!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love the flavors going on in this soup. Yum. And I could eat it in spite of it still being so hot here!

Deeba PAB said...

Saving this for when we have cold weather Susan. It's delish, & your pictures are gorgeous!

Cara said...

Wow - I thought I was looking at a picture of just another corn soup, but as I read on and discovered zucchini, curry, and coconut milk - well, I'm totally sucked in!

Christine said...

I had no idea that San Diego weather is much like ours up here, Susan. The main difference being that our avg. temps hover in the low 60s, making anytime of year soup time. Your delicious looking soup will go into my recipe files right now!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Oh that's perfect. I have no less than 12 ears of corn sitting around from our CSA. And zucchini too!

Parita said...

Delectable! i think my just skipped a beat :) love the corn relish on top :)

Jackie at said...

Looks delicious. Love the way you photographed the soup. it's a great angle.

I made something similar with just plain fresh corn. I love infusing the cobs in the broth for extra corn flavors. Check it out at

Mixed Drink Recipes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hornsfan said...

I would kill to have the weather San Diego's's been almost 70 days of 100+ temps here in Austin! Somehow I'm still eating soup though :) This looks so tempting!

Emily said...

This soup sounds delicious! ~ Bookmarked.
When we were just in San Diego it felt warm when we got there (from winter) but so cold once we got back from AZ & UT! I found myself liking the cooler mornings though, as they are so perfect for a good breakfast and coffee. And no doubt a run, but I didn't get one of those in ;)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This soup would be perfect right about now Susan.

Anonymous said...

I made this soup yesterday and my family loved it! I wasn't sure about the cilantro and the mint but it was fantastic! Not overpowering. Just right. Thanks for a great recipe! It's going in my recipe book. -Amy

kickpleat said...

This soup looks amazing! I wish I was one of those with bountiful zucchini gardens, but instead I'll just have to pick up a few at the market.

Giff said...

love that relish! Soup is a wonderful finish to a summer day, when the temperatures turn cool again (can you hear our cicadas all the way out there?)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

leslie-I know! the heat wave struck practically as I hit "publish."


jane-You have no idea how much you have warmed my heart. Thank you dearly for taking the time to write me.

teah-Well, that's a vote of confidence!

deeba-I hear ya!

cara-That's awfully sweet of you to say. thanks!

christine-Yeah, it is similar, though SF stays chillier than here.

michelle-Then get your soup on!

parita-Are you feeling OK now? ;)

jackie-Yes, that does infuse it with so much flavor. Sounds delicious!

hornsfan- I love Austin but not its heat.

emily-That's why so many people exercise outside here. Though I understand. You were on vacation! :)

amy-I'm so happy to hear it! Thanks.

kickpleat-I bought mine at the market too. So you're not alone. ;)

giff-Yup! I can hear them now. ;)

val-Thank you!

Nanette said...

That looks incredible and I just may have all the ingredients on hand. Thanks Susan!

farida said...

This looks and sounds absolutely delectable! I will save it to make when I buy zuccini, hopefully soon:) thank you for sharing!