Late summer local corn is like the consolation price at the end of the season. I hate that sense that school is starting and less free time is on the horizon. Just about every year around this time, I make some variety of corn chowder. Usually it involves shrimp, but I decided to start this chowder off with bacon because it was what I had in my freezer at the moment. I love the smokiness that it added. I used cipolli onions because they happened to have them at the farmer’s market. You could replace them with shallots or yellow onions.
We had this with a simple heirloom tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar salad and more of that fabulous Bread Alone whole grain baguette. It was the perfect end of summer meal.
4 strips of bacon
4 small cipolini onions
2 carrots chopped
2 stalks of celery
4 ears worth of corn removed from the cob
1 clove finely chopped garlic
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, dice 3 ½ and grate the other 1/2
½ cup good quality sherry
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup water
1 quart chicken stock
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp fresh chopped dill
Cook the bacon in a large sauce pot adding a tablespoon of olive oil if the bacon in very lean. Remove the crisp bacon and drain on paper towel. Add the chopped onion and an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Sautee until the onions are translucent then add the carrots and corn. Cook for about 5 minutes and add the corn and garlic. Add three and a half of the potatoes and sherry and allow the alcohol to cook off for 2 minutes. Add the water, chicken stock, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and add the grated potato. Allow the soup to simmer for at least an hour.
About fifteen minutes before serving stir in the cream, reserved bacon and fresh dill.