"A sweet and fragrant broth-based soup, seasoned with fresh thyme and finished with a touch of milk. Shrimp and corn add sweetness, and the broth can be easily adjusted for richness - use milk to keep it light, or cream to give it more of a chowder consistency."
Cook and stir bacon in a skillet over medium heat until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain bacon on a paper towel-lined plate, reserving about 1 tablespoon bacon grease in the skillet.
Cook and stir leeks and celery in bacon grease over medium heat until leeks soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir garlic into leek mixture until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker.
Place drained bacon, potatoes, chicken broth, 2 cups water, dried thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper in the slow cooker.
Tie sprigs of fresh thyme together with kitchen string and add to the slow cooker.
Cook on High for 4 hours; add corn and cook for 1 more hour.
Reduce heat to Low; stir in milk and cook uncovered until slightly thickened, 30 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water a boil. Cook tiger shrimp in boiling water until they are bright pink and no longer translucent in the center, about 3 minutes. Drain. Allow shrimp to cool slightly before peeling.
Mix cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl until combined.
Stir cornstarch mixture into slow cooker and heat until the soup thickens, about 3 minutes.
Stir peeled shrimp and parsley into soup. Remove fresh thyme sprigs and season soup with salt and black pepper before serving.