I made a few adjustments based on my preferences and what I had available. First, I diced and sauteed an onion, three stalks of celery and two bell peppers. I had a little reserved bacon grease left, and since I liked that flavor so much in my last chowder, I used it again to sautee the vegetables over medium heat.
Once the vegetables were soft, I added some cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes and tarragon. (OK, the tarragon was kind of random, but I was out of thyme and thought I'd just give it a whirl.)Then I also added some chopped garlic and sauteed it for a few seconds before adding the chicken broth (about 8 cups), two chopped sweet potatoes, 2 cups of frozen corn and a pound of sauteed sausage.
I brought it to a boil and then simmered it for about 20-25 minutes until the potatoes were tender. It was delicious! I swirled in a little cream before I ate it.
A note on chicken broth: I bought one of those small jars of concentrated stock a few weeks ago. You keep it in the fridge and add it to boiling water in the quantity you need. I think it's pretty handy for making soups. It's extremely salty, but if you use it in a soup, you can just leave out any additional salt. Happy eating!