As far as I'm concerned, soup (and chowder in particular) gets top billing on the comfort food circuit. Especially as temperatures start to drop, there are few things I crave more, or that are more comforting, than a big, warm bowl of soup. This corn chowder is a definite favorite — thick and hearty, but not too heavy (no cream required!). Plus it calls for that other comfort food staple ingredient: bacon.
In a medium-sized skilled over medium-low heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes (turn the pieces over about 4 or 5 minutes in). Once cooked, set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
Add the chicken broth, potatoes, and thyme to a large stock pot over medium heat. Bring the broth to a simmer and cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes, or until fork-tender. Next, remove the thyme sprigs (it's OK that the leaves have fallen off into the soup), and add in all of the corn from 1 bag, as well as the grated cheese.
Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. Once it has achieved the desired texture, mix in the corn from the remaining bag, and cook for another 5 minutes. Crumble the cooked bacon you've set aside and mix it into the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with thyme.