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Roasted Corn Chowder with Potatoes and Bacon

7 Ears corn, husked
1 lg Red bell pepper
3 Bacon slices, diced 1 3/4 c Finely chopped onion
2 tb (1/4 stick) butter
3 tb All purpose flour 4 1/2 c (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
2 lg Russet potatoes, peeled, diced
1 1/2 c Half and half
2 tb Chopped fresh chives or green onions

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill corn until slightly charred and crisp-tender, turning frequently, about 15 minutes. Grill pepper until blackened on all sides. Seal pepper in paper bag and let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed and chop pepper. Cut kernels from corncobs.

Saute bacon in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat until just crisp, about 4 minutes. Add onion and butter and saute until onion is soft and pale golden, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir 2 minutes. Gradually mix in 4 1/2 C stock. Add potatoes and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in corn, chopped pepper and half and half. Simmer until chowder is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more stock if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chives.

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