2ounces smoked slab bacon, rind removed, about 1/2cup
4clovesgarlic, sliced thinly
1poblano chile, stem and seeds discarded, minced
1/2red onion, peeled and diced medium
2 large carrots, peeled and diced medium
1/2bulbfennel, cored and diced medium
2celery stalks, cleaned and diced medium
1red bell pepper, stem and seeds discarded, diced medium
1earcorn, kernels cut off the cob
1/4cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
2bay leaves, broken
salt and pepper to taste
Put potatoes in a small saucepot of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and turn down heat; simmer till just underdone (this only takes a few minutes, since the potatoes are so small).
In a large heavy soup pot, cook the bacon with the olive oil over medium-high heat until bacon is halfway cooked. Add the garlic and chile and stir briefly. Add the rest of the vegetables except the potatoes; stir to coat, add salt and pepper; cilantro, and bay leaf. Cook until firm, stirring occasionally (about 8 minutes). Add potatoes, saffron cream, clams, and mussels.