Sweet Corn & Crab Chowder

When I went to my local Farmer's market I saw so many beautiful flowers, brightly colored veggies and fruits.  I was so happy to find fresh organic blueberries for only $3 per pint.  (The supermarket in my area charges about $8 for one pint.) There was also an abundance of sweet corn available from a variety of farmers.  


Sweet corn is in season right now and I want to take advantage of it! This chowder is so full of flavor and creamy.  It's one of my favorite soups that I like to indulge in every now and then.

1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups fresh corn kernels
4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups of half and half cream
1/2 tablespoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, shell
pieces removed

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes. Pour in the white wine and bring to a simmer. Season with the basil, white pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the corn and potatoes, then pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.
3. While the soup is simmering, melt 1/2 cup of butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour has turned the color of peanut butter to make a roux, about 10 minutes.
4. Stir the roux into the soup, and pour in the heavy cream, half-and-half cream, reserved bacon and grease. Return to a simmer over medium-high heat, until the potatoes are tender, and the soup has thickened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with Creole/Cajun seasoning, and stir in the crab meat to serve.

Tips: If you like it a little bit spicier, increase the Cajun seasoning to 1 tablespoon and/or increase the cayenne pepper to 1/4 teaspoon.  Another tasty tip is to add 1 teaspoon of brandy in with the white wine for more flavor.


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