Harvest Corn Chowder with Chorizo
- 6 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 6 to 8 large ears) or frozen kernels, thawed, patted dry (about 2 pounds frozen), divided
- 4 cups low-salt chicken broth, divided
- 6 ounces smoked Spanish chorizo,* cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1 pound (about 3 medium) unpeeled red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon (scant) cayenne pepper
- Fresh thyme sprigs (for garnish)
Blend 3 cups corn kernels and 1 1/2 cups broth in processor to coarse puree. Transfer to large bowl. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo and sauté until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer chorizo to small bowl.
Add onion and remaining 3 cups corn kernels to same skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté over medium-high heat until onion begins to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add potatoes and stir until potatoes begin to soften, about 2 minutes (corn may begin to brown slightly). Transfer corn mixture to large pot. Add dried thyme, cayenne, reserved pureed corn mixture, and remaining 2 1/2 cups broth to pot. Bring just to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add half and half and chorizo. Simmer uncovered until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season chowder to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes longer to thicken, if desired. DO AHEAD Soup can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and chill. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring often (do not boil).
Divide soup among 16 bowls or mugs. Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve.