from Cook's Illustrated. This chowder relies on a partial puree to lessen the amount of dairy, making it sweet and light. I've made a few minor modifications regarding the cooking of the bacon.
8 ears corn, husks and silk removed
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped fine
4 slices bacon
2 tsp minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup flour
5 cups water
3/4 lb red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup half-and-half
3 tbsp fresh chopped basil
1. Using chef's knife or corn stripper, cut the kernels from the corn cobs; transfer to a bowl and set aside. Holding cobs over another bowl, use the back of a butter knife to scrape off remaining pulp. Transfer pulp to a clean kitchen towel set in a medium bowl. Wrap towel tightly around pulp and squeeze tightly until dry. Discard pulp in towel and set corn juice aside. (You should have about 2/3 cup of juice.)
2. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a Dutch over or stockpot set over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until lightly done (not too crispy). Remove bacon, add remaining butter, onion and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and edges are beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. While onion is cooking, cut bacon into 1/4 inch pieces. Return bacon to pot with onions. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add water and bring to a boil. Add corn kernels and potatoes. Return to a simmer; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes have softened, 15 to 18 minutes.
3. Process 2 cups of chowder in a blender until smooth. Return puree to pot; add half-and-half and return to a simmer. Remove pot from heat and stir in reserved corn juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper (and sugar if needed). Serve sprinkled with basil.
- I actually prefer garnishing this with parsley rather than basil. The parsley is fresher and more complimentary than the basil.