1 (3 pound) chicken, cut into small pieces
2 quarts cold water
1 large onion, peeled and halved
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
1 pound tiny boiling potatoes, peeled and halved
5 ears corn, cut into 2-inch rounds
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed in cold water
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced or cubed
In a heavy 5-quart pot, combine the chicken and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off the scum that rises to the surface. Add the onion, bay leaf, cumin, thyme, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low; cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
Transfer the chicken to a platter. Remove the onion and strain the stock through a fine sieve. Remove the skin from the chicken and discard. But the chicken meat into strips. Return the strained stock in the pot to a boil over moderate heat; add the potatoes. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Mash them against the side of the pan until the soup is thick and fairly smooth. Add the corn and chicken and simmer uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the tenderness of the corn.
To serve, pour 3 tablespoons of cream and 1 teaspoon of capers into each of 6 deep soup bowls. Ladle the soup into the bowls and float the avocado on top.