Summer Corn Chowder

This is a good recipe to use up leftover corn on the cob. It is light and flavorful for summer. The bacon adds a nice salty element to contrast with the sweetness of the corn without being too heavy. I live near a good butcher who brown sugar cures his own bacon. The bacon is very meaty without a lot of fat. (It reminds me of the bacon rashers we enjoyed when we lived in England years ago.) The butcher also sells bacon ends which I buy regularly and keep in the freezer for recipes like this one. For a heartier winter dish eliminate the bacon and zucchini and add sausage and potatoes in its place. This recipe is inspired by one from Gourmet Magazine in the early 1990s.

1 c. chopped bacon
1-1/2 c. chopped yellow onion
1 c. chopped celery
1-1/4 c. chopped green, red and yellow bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 c. fresh or frozen corn
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
7 c. chicken stock
1/3 c. diced mango
1 Tbsp. chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
2 fresh bay leaves
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 c. chopped zucchini
1 c. whipping cream

Heat a 5 quart stockpot and add bacon. Cook for 5 minutes until bacon releases its fat. Add onion, celery, peppers, and garlic. Saute for 7-10 minutes until vegetables soften. Add corn, chicken stock, mango, and herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for about 8 minutes until zucchini is fork tender but not mushy. Add cream and heat until hot but not boiling, it should only take 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme before serving. Serves 6-8.

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