This chowder has just a few simple ingredients so that the pure sweet taste of summer corn can really shine through.
- 4 slice bacon, sliced crosswise into ½ pieces
- 1 cup onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 2 celery stalks, cut into ½-inch dice
- 6 sprigs thyme tied together in a bundle
- 4 cup chicken stock
- 4 yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
- 4 ears fresh corn, kernels shaved off, cobs broken in half and reserved
- 1 cup half-and-half
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- parsley leaves as garnish, optional
Place bacon in small stockpot set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is deep golden brown and all the fat has been rendered, about 6 minutes. Remove bacon with slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel, and set aside. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
Add onions, celery, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste to stockpot; cook over medium-low heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken stock, ½ of the potatoes, and the corn cob pieces. Season generously with salt and white pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook the mixture until the potatoes soften, about 20 minutes.
Add half of the the corn kernels, stirring to combine. Simmer about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the thyme bundle and corncobs. Then, using an immersion blender, blend until completely pureed. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Return the pot to the heat and add the remaining potatoes cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn the heat off. Add the remaining corn kernels, the half-and-half and the cayenne; stir to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Ladle the chowder into 4 bowls and garnish with the reserved crisp bacon pieces and/or parsley.