Harvest Corn Chowder with Bacon

Hello my lovlies.

I made this soup when I was still very sick, even though my skin hurt and my eyes hurt and my back ached.

I suffered for you.

But the suffering was worth it.

This is a soup that makes life worth living.

What is sad, is that I am not even kidding.

I say this all the time, but this is really, really worth making. The cup and a half of cream does not exactly make this healthfood. But it makes the soup comfort food. Which is really the only thing you care about when you're sick.

Harvest Corn Chowder with Bacon
from Gourmet Today
(Makes about 11 cups)
Active time: 40 minutes. Start to finish about 1 1/4 hours.

1/2 cup diced (1/4 inch) slab bacon (2 ounces, rind discarded if necessary)*
2 cups diced (1/4 inch)**sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla
2 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and vut into 1/4 inch dice
1/2 pound yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon Gold (2 small), peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
5 cups Chicken stock, or store bought reduced sodium broth
2 fresh thyme sprigs
3 cups corn
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Optional Garnish: 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced; finely chopped fresh chives

Cook bacon in a 6-to8-quart wide heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer witha slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Add onion, carrots, celery, and bell pepper to bacon fat remaining in pot (I didn't have quite enough fat, so added a few tablespoons of olive oil) and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add both potatoes, stock and thyme, bring to a simmer, and simmer, covered, until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.
Add corn and cream and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper and stir in bacon. Serve sprinkled with tomatoes and chives. ***

*I didn't use slab bacon. I just used regular bacon. Probably about 4 or 5 slices.
**I also didn't use a "sweet" onion. Even though I love the sound of Walla Walla onions.
***I didn't garnish. Lazy me.