Luscious corn and crab chowder combines lump and claw crab meat, bacon, vegetables, seasonings, and cream for a velvety smooth dish.
My husband is quite possibly the most hot-natured person I know. It is not uncommon to find me lying on the couch watching TV swaddled in a wool blanket while my husband has stripped down to a pair of shorts, has the air conditioner cranked down to 65 degrees, and the ceiling fan blowing on high.
I am reminded of incident when we were first married. There was a young, newlywed couple about like my husband and myself living in the apartment next to us. One night in mid-July my husband and I are carrying our trash to the dumpster. Our neighbor watches us from his balcony as he smokes a cigarette. Let me point out here that it is about 9 p.m. and still 95 degrees outside. I am dressed in flannel pajama pants, wool socks, and a hooded sweatshirt (I know. Probably everything my husband dreamed about in a future wife). The next morning the neighbor comments to my husband on the way I am dressed and asks if I have been sick.
So you can imagine my shock when my husband asks if we can have soup for dinner! I love soup. I could eat it every day of the week and twice on Sunday. But I usually reserve my soup recipes for the cooler months because I don’t want to watch the poor guy sweat into his bowl as he’s trying to eat.
One of the ingredients used in this Corn and Crab Chowder is shrimp stock. Some grocery stores sell shrimp or seafood stock right next to the chicken and beef stock. However, if you can’t find it you can always use additional chicken stock or simply make your own seafood stock. I chose to make my own stock using the left over shrimp shells from this post. I tossed the shells from a pound of shrimp into a pot with half an onion, two bay leaves, 10-12 peppercorns, several sprigs of fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme and simmered in a covered pot for about an hour. I purposely chose not to add salt because I knew I could go back and add salt to my soup later on if I needed to. You don’t have to use my ingredients exactly. Use whatever you have on hand. If you Google shrimp or seafood stock, you will find a bazillion different methods.
This Corn and Crab chowder definitely has some zip to it thanks to the crab boil and Creole seasoning. In fact, I didn’t even need to add any additional salt or pepper. Crab boil is pretty easy to come by down here, especially during the summer months. I don’t know how common it is in other areas, but cayenne pepper would be a good substitute. Just be sure to add sparingly. You can always add more heat, but if you add too much it can be much more difficult to take it down. The original recipe also called for lemon pepper seasoning. I didn’t have any, so I used the zest of one lemon and it added a subtle clean and tangy flavor.
By some miracle, we have had a temporary break in our August heat. It was so pleasant yesterday, the husband and I were able to take our Corn and Crab chowder out onto the back porch. I was able to enjoy a little pre-fall weather without my sweatshirt and wool socks. He was able to enjoy his chowder without mopping sweat from his brow.
Corn and Crab Chowder
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups seafood stock
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ lb. about 3-5 red skinned potatoes, cubed
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 celery rib diced
- 4 slices of bacon cooked and chopped
- 2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
- ½ pound lump crabmeat
- ½ pound claw crabmeat
- 4 slices of bacon cooked and chopped
- 1 teaspoon liquid crab boil
- 1 tablespoon Creole or Old Bay seasoning
- Zest of one lemon
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Chopped fresh parsley and additional bacon for garnish optional
- In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Gradually add flour and whisk together until mixture begins to thicken, forming a roux.
- Add seafood stock, chicken stock, potatoes, carrots, and celery. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add corn and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes. Add the crabmeat, bacon, crab boil, Creole or Old Bay seasoning, and lemon zest.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add the cream and stir until cream is well-incorporated and chowder is heated through. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley if desired.