A bowl of creamy corn and crab chowder
My PNW, Seafood, Soups

Creamy corn and crab chowder

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Sweet, creamy and oh so satisfying! Sweet corn and dungeness crab are a perfect pair in this delicious creamy corn and crab chowder.

Sweet and creamy corn and crab chowder
Sweet and creamy corn and crab chowder

The bright colors of fall the crisp air have me thinking about incorporating homemade soups back into our dinnertime routine. Homemade soup always tastes better and has greater nutritional value. And when you make them yourself, you have the ability to adjust the seasoning or ingredients to suite your taste. I used dungeness crab in this recipe, but you can use another kind of crab or white fish if you like.

Getting ready to crack open the dungeness crab.
Getting ready to crack open the dungeness crab.

 

In September, I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC 2015). At the opening reception, I was treated to samples of food prepared from several Seattle restaurants and businesses. As a conference attendee, I found this to be a great opportunity to talk to and be inspired by chefs and fellow bloggers passionate about food.

One of my favorite samples that evening was a fresh creamy corn bisque prepared by the chefs from SkyCity Restaurant atop the Seattle Space Needle. The bisque at IFBC was prepared with the freshest in-season sweet corn and the broth was made from simmering down the corn cobs. It was finished with fresh cilantro and crispy bacon bits.

SkyCity corn bisque
SkyCity chefs at IFBC
SkyCity chefs at IFBC

On a recent summer visit to SkyCity, not only was the food excellent, but the staff really helped make our family (which consists of two small children) feel comfortable and welcome.

My daughter and I at SkyCity
My daughter and I at SkyCity

The service was quick and attentive but not rushed. We all enjoyed the sweeping views and learning fun facts about the Space Needle. Overall, it was a relaxing meal for mom and dad, and a fun-filled adventurous evening for the whole family. It was our family’s fancy night out and a real treat.

At the Space Needle

I get inspired from restaurants and apply what I see, taste and smell to cooking at home. Use these tips from the SkyCity chefs for making delicious and satisfying soups at home.

  1. Start with the freshest in-season vegetables, herbs and seasonings.
  2. Don’t forget about the finishing touches. Top with a fresh herb, bacon or dollop of sour cream. It will take your soup from ordinary to extraordinary.

By the way do you know the difference between a chowder and a bisque? Both are creamy thick soups, but a bisque is typically smooth or blended. A chowder also often has potatoes. If you like seafood chowders, also try my Seattle Seafood Bisque recipe.

What I love about this crab and corn chowder recipe is it can easily be varied depending on your mood and tastes. Add a couple diced potatoes if you like chunkier chowder. Or blend small batches of the soup in the food processor before adding the seafood for a smooth texture. If you like more heat, add a little more Old Bay Seasoning or cayenne pepper to the mix. Give it a try and tell me about your creativity in the kitchen in the comments below!

In this recipe, I used a little half and half to add richness and an all-purpose gluten-free flour. It worked great and no one noticed it was gluten-free. If you don’t have half and half, use whole milk in place of all the milk. Fresh sweet corn in season is best, but frozen is better if the corn available isn’t local, fresh or sweet.

Ingredients

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 ribs celery, diced
Half a small red onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, no seeds and diced (can use red bell pepper also)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 ¼ tsp Old Bay seasoning
3 tbsp all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour mix
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
½ cup half and half
2 ½ cups milk (1 % or 2 %)
2 ½ cups corn kernels (fresh from the cob or frozen)
Just under a 1 lb of crab meat (dungeness crab)
4 – 6 slices of bacon, fried crispy and chopped into bits for garnish
Handful of parsley, for garnish

Use a large pot. Turn the heat on to medium-high and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted add the vegetables, bay leaf and stir. Saute the vegetables until they soften and are more translucent (several minutes). Then add the salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning.

Sauteing the veggies
Sauteing the veggies

Slowly add in the flour. Stir and cook for another couple minutes. Add the broth and combine. Add the half and half and milk, then bring the chowder up to a low boil. You should start to see little bubbles. Add the corn and cook for about five minutes before adding the crab last. Turn the heat to low and simmer a few minutes more. Garnish each serving of chowder with a little crispy bacon and fresh parsley for garnish.

Corn and crab chowder simmering.
Corn and crab chowder simmering.

Creamy corn and crab chowder

Sweet, creamy and oh so satisfying! Sweet corn and dungeness crab are a perfect pair in this delicious creamy corn and crab chowder.

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 ribs of celery (diced)
  • 1 half small red onion (diced)
  • 1 small green bell pepper (diced, no seeds (or red bell pepper))
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour mix)
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half (not fat-free)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (1% or 2% milk)
  • 2 1/2 cups corn kernels (fresh from the cob or frozen)
  • 1 lb crab meat
  • 4 to 6 slices bacon (fried crispy and chopped into bits)
  • handful of fresh parsley
  1. Use a large pot. Turn the heat on to medium-high and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted add the vegetables, bay leaf and stir. Saute the vegetables until they soften and are more translucent (several minutes). Then add the salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning.Slowly add in the flour. Stir and cook for another couple minutes. Add the broth and combine. Add the half and half and milk, then bring the chowder up to a low boil. You should start to see little bubbles. Add the corn and cook for about five minutes before adding the crab last. Turn the heat to low and simmer a few minutes more.
    Garnish each serving of chowder with a little crispy bacon and fresh parsley for garnish.
  • If you don’t have half and half, use whole milk in place of all the milk.
  • Fresh sweet corn in season is best, but frozen is better if the corn available isn’t local, fresh or sweet.

International Food Bloggers Conference 2015
International Food Bloggers Conference 2015
 

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