(Photo provided)

I love shopping at farmers markets and local vegetables stands.

With sweet corn in abundance right now, I came up with this hearty soup I made for one of my weekly clients using produce I bought from Stade’s Farm and Market.

For this recipe, I bought the onions, potatoes, sweet corn and garlic there, and you can really taste the freshness.  

Hearty And Healthy Corn Soup

1/2 pound bacon 

2 large onions, chopped

1 stalk organic celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium organic chicken broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

2 cups fresh corn kernels (about four ears)

4 red potatoes, peeled and diced

1 pound smoked sausage

1 12-ounce can nonfat evaporated milk

1/2 cup water

Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Fresh dill

Pinch cayenne pepper

To cut corn from the cob: Place an ear of corn, trimmed end down, on a cutting board or place the corn in the hole of a bundt pan, holding near the top of the ear. Using a sharp knife, start at the top and cut downward with a gentle sawing motion, cutting corn from the cob at about two-thirds the depth of the kernels. Continue cutting until all of the corn is removed.

Heat a large, heavy saucepan over low heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Drain on paper towel. Add onions to the pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add celery, sausage, garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the broth and milk, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Add the corn and potatoes. Return to a simmer and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

If you want a thicker soup, place cornstarch in a small bowl and slowly add water, stirring until smooth. Stir into the soup and return to a simmer.

Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf. Season with salt, pepper, dill and cayenne.

• Chef Debi Stuckwisch is the owner of Meals Like Mom’s Personal Chef service in McHenry County. She can be reached at 847-778-9351 or mealslikemoms@comcast.net, or visit www.mealslikemom.com.