- 2 ounces of bacon (1 thick strip), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup small diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup small diced celery
- 4-5 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed from the cobs (about 3 cups), cobs reserved
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 1/2 cups milk, whole or low fat
- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and large (1-inch) diced (about 3 cups)
- 3 teaspoons of Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Place chopped bacon into a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Heat on medium heat until the bacon slightly browns and renders its fat, 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped onions, red bell pepper, and celery, lower the heat to medium low and cook until vegetables soften.
Break the corn cobs in half (after you’ve stripped off the corn) and add the cobs to the pot. Add the milk and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes. Make sure the heat is as low as can be and still maintain a gentle simmer to prevent scalding the milk on the bottom of the pan. After 20 minutes, add the potatoes, salt, and thyme to the pot. Increase the heat to return the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain the simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.
Discard the cobs and the bay leaf. Add the corn kernels and black pepper. Again raise the heat to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook for another 5 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Add more salt and pepper to taste.