18 ears fresh supersweet corn, with husks, divided
¾ cup peanut oil
24 ounces (2-½ cups) finely diced onion
8 ounces (1 cup) finely diced celery
4 ounces (½ cup) finely diced carrot
1-½ ounces (¼ cup) Finely chopped jalapeños
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
6 ounces (about 1 cup) sweet red bell pepper, cut in brunoise
Preheat grill or broiler. Grill or broil corn until blackened on all sides; cool; remove husks and silks. Cut 4 of the ears into 24 (1-inch) rounds; reserve for garnish. Remove kernels from the remaining 14 ears (makes about 3-½ pounds or 2-½ quarts); break cobs in halves and reserve.
In a large stockpot, over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, celery and carrot; cook until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.
Stir in jalapeño, thyme, sage, salt and pepper; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add reserved cobs and 2 quarts water. Raise heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until flavors are well blended, about 45 minutes. Remove and discard cobs. Add 3 pounds of the kernels and simmer for 10 minutes longer.
Remove pot from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree soup. Add remaining corn kernels; adjust seasonings.
To plate: Spoon into soup bowls. Garnish each portion with 2 of the reserved corn wheels and, if desired, with a dollup of sour cream or crème fraiche; sprinkle with bell pepper.