Cold-Day Corn Chowder

"I use my own frozen corn, which my grandchildren help me pick and shuck during the summertime," says Nancy.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 small yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 large russet potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream

4 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 6 ears fresh corn) or frozen corn (thawed and drained)

Directions

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  2. Drain or spoon off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat in the pot. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables just begin to become tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the flour, thyme and bay leaves. Stir the flour into the vegetables to make a paste and coat them evenly. Cook a minute or two to get rid of the raw flour flavor. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, 15 minutes.
  3. Uncover the pot and add the potato, half-and-half and all but 1/2 cup of the corn. Simmer, uncovered, until the potato is very tender but not yet falling apart, 10 to 12 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the reserved ½ cup corn and cook, stirring, until warmed through, 6 to 8 minutes. 
  5. Discard the bay leaves from the soup. Puree about 1 cup of the soup in a food processor or blender and stir it back into the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cooked bacon and buttered corn kernels.