This hearty chowder, which is based on two of summertime’s favorite garden harvests, proves that the Instant Pot is just as useful for cooking vegetables as it is for braising meat. If you like, substitute yellow straight-neck or green-striped Costata Romanesco squash for the zucchini.
Instant Pot Summer Corn and Zucchini Chowder
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) sliced bacon, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Kernels from 6 ears of corn, cobs reserved
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml) water
- 4 red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) whole milk
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 Tbs. minced fresh chives
1. Select Sauté on the Instant Pot and warm the oil. Add the zucchini, green onions and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the zucchini to a bowl.
2. Switch to Sauté More, add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate. Spoon out all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pot and discard. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the corncobs, bay, thyme and water.
3. Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to Sealing. Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to reset the program, then press the Manual/Pressure Cook button and set the cook time for 10 minutes at high pressure.
4. Turn the valve to Venting to manually release the steam, then carefully remove the lid. Discard the corncobs. Add the potatoes, corn kernels and half of the bacon and season with salt and pepper. Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to Sealing. Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to reset the program, then press the Manual/Pressure Cook button and set the cook time for 4 minutes at high pressure.
5. Turn the valve to Venting to manually release the steam, then carefully remove the lid. Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to reset the program, then select Sauté, stir in the cream, milk, cayenne and zucchini, and heat until hot.
6. Ladle into individual bowls, garnish with the chives and remaining bacon, season with salt and pepper, and serve. Serves 4.
For this and more recipes that are big on flavor but short on prep time, check out The Instant Pot Cookbook, by the cooks of the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen.