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Corn Chowder with Bacon

It's finally here!!  This week is the first day of fall and I am so ready.  What better way to celebrate than with a warm and delicious chowder?  The weather man is promising it will feel like fall by the end of the week even though it's been 90° for the last couple of days.  But hey, that's how we roll here in Utah!

This soup is thick and creamy with a very fresh flavor of corn, potatoes, onions, and of course bacon!  It makes a lot which is great to freeze for another meal.  My only suggestion is if you don't like soggy bacon don't throw it all in.  I add a little of the bacon for flavor, but keep the rest for garnish because the bacon will get soggy sitting in the soup for too long.  If you don't care about that though, be my guest and toss all that bacon goodness in there.

Corn Chowder with Bacon

8 slices of bacon, chopped
1 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream or half and half
2 cans (14.75 oz) cream style corn
2 cans (15 oz) white corn, drained
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced new potatoes, drained
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
chives for garnish

In a large pot on medium-high heat, place chopped bacon and cook until crisp
Remove bacon from pot and drain on a plate lined with paper towels
Drain all but one tablespoon of bacon grease from the pot
Place diced onion in tablespoon of bacon grease and saute until translucent and soft
Add butter and allow to melt
Sprinkle in flour and stir until flour, butter, and onions are combined
Pour in chicken stock and stir until thickened
Add remainder of ingredients to the pot and simmer on low for 20 minutes
Serve with reserved bacon and chives on top