Sweet Red Chowder with Leek, Corn and Crab
Tempt your family with this soup that is rich with vegetables and seafood.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 2 large baking potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 leeks, split lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 4 ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 12 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over for pieces of shell
- 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning (2 palmfuls)
- A generous handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons chives, chopped
- Grated peel of 1 lemon or orange
- Oyster crackers, for serving
In a soup pot, heat the EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until it renders its fat and crisps at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, leeks, celery and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the red bell pepper and thyme, then stir in the sherry and reduce for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, corn, crabmeat and Old Bay seasoning and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes.
Combine the parsley, chives and lemon peel and sprinkle over the chowder. Pass oyster crackers around at the table.