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Smokey Corn Chowder

• 1 C unsalted butter
• 4 C yellow onion, diced
• 6 C carrot, diced
• 6 C celery stalk, diced
• 20 ears of sweet corn, smoked, kernels removed from the cobs
• 8 bay leaf
• 6 L milk
• 3 C sweet potato, peeled and diced
• 3 C red bell pepper, diced
• Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until soft. Add the carrot and celery and cook for 4 or 5 more minutes.
2 Add the milk, corn and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure the heat is as low as can be and still maintain a gentle simmer to prevent scalding the milk on the bottom of the pan.
3 Raise the heat, add the potatoes, red pepper, salt and ground pepper to taste, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost fork tender.

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