2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4-5 large ears corn, scraped from cob or 1 box frozen corn
1 medium or 2 small zucchini, chopped
1 pound small potatoes, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 bay leaf
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons flour
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (a couple of generous handfuls), chopped
Salt and pepper
A few dashes of hot sauce, to taste
Oyster crackers or white cheddar popcorn, to pass at the table
Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add bacon to hot EVOO and cook until crisp at edges. Add onion, corn, zucchini, potatoes and bell pepper as you get them chopped, then add the bay leaf, thyme and paprika. Cook for 7-8 minutes to begin to soften.
Sprinkle flour around the pot, stir and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and let it come up to a bubble and thicken up a bit, then stir in the milk, cream and parsley and simmer for 5 minutes.
Season the soup with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste and serve with crackers or popcorn to float on top.