6 ears Lepp’s corn
6 strips of Lepp’s Double Smoked Bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, diced
1 medium poblano pepper, finely chopped. I roasted my poblano on the grill ahead of time, and it gave the chowder a wonderful smoky kick.
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1 pound new potatoes, or 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and cubed into a fairly small dice (peel the large potatoes if you wish)
1 tsp. Salt
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish
3 cups whole milk or any combination of whole milk, whipping cream and cream you’ve got in your fridge to make 3 cups. I love using all Farm House whole milk for this chowder as it’s creamy enough to taste wonderfully rich. If not using a whole-fat milk, try not to bring the soup to a boil as the milk will separate, giving it a curdled appearance. It’s still fine to eat, it just doesn’t look as appetizing!
Working over a bowl, cut the corn kernels from the cobs. Then, using the back of the knife, scrape the cobs over the bowl to release all the “milk”; set aside.
In a large saucepan, fry the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Crumble and reserve.
Add enough olive oil to the bacon fat, if necessary, to make about 3 tablespoons. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the poblano pepper, jalapeño and celery and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, salt, bay leaf and the reserved corn kernels and their “milk” and stir well. Cook over moderate heat until mixture begins to sizzle.
Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Stir in the cream and milk and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and season with black pepper to taste. Ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with the crumbled bacon and parsley.