It's that time of year, the time when fresh sweet corn is at its best. This is the season for homemade corn chowder, and Marcia Selden makes it easy. Go swing by your local farmers' market and grab some corn.
Summer Corn Chowder with Grilled Vegetable Confetti
8 ears fresh sweet Yellow Corn, husks removed and kernals cut from cob
3 T Butter
5 slices Bacon, cut into ¼ to ½ inch pieces
1 medium Onion, chopped
¼ C all-purpose flour
1 clove Garlic, minced
5 C Vegetable Stock
1 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ t dried Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1 C half and half
1 T Honey
2-3 T fresh Chives, chopped
½ Red Pepper, chopped
½ Yellow Pepper, chopped
Handful of Cilantro, chopped
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened and just starting to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add in the flour and garlic and cook 1 ½ minutes. While whisking, slowly pour in 5 cups vegetable stock. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then stir in corn kernels and potatoes. Add in thyme and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove bay leave then transfer 2 ½ cups of the chowder to a blender and blend until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot then stir in half and half and honey.
To make the confetti, combine the chopped peppers and cilantro in a small bowl. Ladle the soup into a a bowl and sprinkle each serving with the grilled vegetable confetti.