Jonathan Benno grew up in Connecticut and spent vacations in Maine, where he became a chowder aficionado. His simple chowder here combines pureed sweet corn, sautéed kernels for crunch and a heady infusion of smoked bacon. Warming Soup Recipes
In a large saucepan, cover the corncobs with the milk and heavy cream and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Discard the corncobs.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add half of the corn kernels to the pan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 10 minutes. Working in batches, add the kernels to a blender along with the milk and cream and puree until smooth.
Melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the saucepan. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the diced celery, onion, saffron and the remaining corn kernels, cover partially and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery and onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the corn puree and the tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the chowder into bowls and serve.
The chowder can be refrigerated overnight.