Halloween Soup (aka Potato Corn Chowder)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 celery rib, very thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 15 ounce can corn, drained
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon thyme
few dashes cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup sour cream

In a large stockpot, combine the butter, olive oil, garlic, potatoes and carrots. Saute over medium heat until the potatoes are golden, about five to ten minutes. Sprinkle on the paprika, toss, and cook 1 minute.

Add the stock, bay leaves (broken in two carefully), salt, sugar, and pepper. Cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the corn cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more. Remove the bay leaves.

Scoop out 2 cups of the chowder and set it aside. Puree the remainder and return it to the pot. Stir in the reserve chowder, the milk, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Cook five minutes more. Serve in bowls with a spoonful of sour cream on top.

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