6 ears corn
Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 slices smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as yukon gold, cut into small cubes
2 ribs celery from the heart with leafy tops, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
One 32-ounce container (4 cups) vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
Lime wedges, chopped flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped scallions and crumbles cotija cheese or queso fresco, for garnish (I used cheddar cheese)
Preheat a grill or broiler. Grill or broil the ears of corn until charred, 7 to 8 minutes (cover the grill to give the corn a smoky flavor). Scrape the kernels from the cob.
While the corn is charring, in a soup pot, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate. Add the onion, potatoes, celery and garlic to the pot. Add the bay leaf and thyme, season with salt and pepper, cover the pot and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Using a food processor, puree the chipotle chiles. Stir into the vegetables, then stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and keep warm. Rinse the food processor bowl.
Add one-third of the corn kernels to the food processor, pour in 2 cups of the soup and puree. Pour the mixture into the remaining soup and lower the heat to a simmer. Stir in the remaining corn kernels, the cream and reserved bacon and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve the chowder in bowls with the lime wedges, parsley, scallions and lots of cheese.