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.

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