Those last few ears of corn or if you are very lucky those last tomatoes that you’ve lovingly tended for weeks are ready. As we bid adieu to summer, stockpile a few recipes to use up those last tastes from the garden.


Corn and Clam Chowder with Zucchini and Herbs

1 lb. chopped clams (about 3 cups)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups diced onion

1 cup diced celery

Salt and pepper 

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch of crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1/4 cup medium yellow polenta (not fine)

4 cups water or chicken broth

4 cups clam broth, more as necessary

3 cups cubed potato, preferably yellow fleshed, like Yukon Gold

3 cups corn kernels, about 4 ears

4 cups cubed zucchini or other summer squash

2 limes, halved

6 to 8 tablespoons sour cream

3 tablespoons parsley

1 tablespoon oregano or marjoram


1. Put olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot on medium-high heat. Add onions and celery, season generously with salt and pepper and cook until softened, 5 to 8 minutes.

2. Add garlic, red pepper and thyme. Stir and let sizzle briefly, then add polenta and stir to coat. Gradually add the water or chicken broth, stirring constantly with a wire whisk as mixture begins to thicken, then add clam broth and bring to a boil. 

3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until polenta grains have softened.

4. Add potatoes to pot and simmer until just done, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste soup and adjust seasoning. Add more clam broth, if necessary.

5. Add corn and zucchini and simmer 5 minutes until zucchini is tender. Add chopped clams and cook 2 minutes more. 

6. To serve, ladle soup into individual bowl. Squeeze some lime juice into each portion and top with a dollop of sour  cream. Sprinkle with parsley and oregano.

(Source: The New York times)


Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 25 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.