Growing up in the cornfields of Illinois, we had corn at about every meal. Corn shucking time meant big dinners for the working men. Lots of fried chicken mashed potatoes and gravy, and of course, corn and green beans! With this background, I ventured out into ways to prepare corn. At another time I'll post my cream cheese corn that became a family favorite. This creamy corn chowder has a richness that is addictive!! You'll find yourself making it very often!
In a large saucepan or stock pot, melt butter and oil over medium heat. Add bacon pieces and cook until slightly crispy. Add onions and cook for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Remove bacon and onions and add rest of vegetables.
Saute' for about 5 minutes. Add the bacon and onions back in and stir well. Add flour and stir to coat vegetables. Add milk and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, stirring continually to blend and smooth. Add half & half cream and potatoes. Boil for about 8-10 minutes.
Lower temperature to low heat. Add corn. If using roasted corn, cut the corn from the cobs and add to the pot; or add the thawed frozen or canned corn. Add black pepper and cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Remove the bay leaf.
Simmer on low until corn and potatoes are tender..about 15-20 minutes. If soup gets too thick add 1/2 c. warm water or more milk. If it isn't thick enough, add more shredded cheese (about 1/2 c.).