Cut the kernels off 6 ears of the corn, transfer to a medium bowl and then, working over the bowl, run the back of a chef?s knife down the cobs to extract all the juices and pulp from the corn.
Melt the butter in a large wide pot or medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sugar, garlic, shallot, jalapeno, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the corn kernels and juices and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is softened and well coated, about 5 minutes more. Add the thyme sprigs, bay leaf and 6 cups water. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the kernels off the remaining 2 ears of corn and set aside. Discard the thyme and bay leaf from the soup and then carefully puree in batches in a blender (or in the pot with an immersion blender) until creamy, taking care not to fill the blender more than half full per batch.
Return the soup to the pot, add the reserved corn kernels and simmer over medium heat until the corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper. Divide the soup among 4 bowls and top with the mixed herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
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