Corn & Crab Chowder Topped with Fingerling Potato Chips

Corn & Crab Chowder Topped with Fingerling Potato Chips

The days are getting shorter and I am dreaming about brisk fall weather; the type of weather where you can wear a t-shirt, jeans and boots and be neither freezing nor sweltering. All I want to make is this soup that uses the last of the summer corn and fills the apartment with a warm aroma. Instead, in late September the weather is a staggering 90 degrees and humidity reminiscent of a day in Boston mid-summer. With no AC it is hard to pretend there is fall weather beyond the screen door. 



For the Chowder:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

2 teaspoons tomato paste

4 medium ears of corn, cut off the cob (approx 2 cups corn kernels)

4 cups chicken stock

2 bay leaves

1 sprig of thyme

12 strips applewood smoked bacon, diced into ½”-wide strips

½ cup heavy cream

kosher salt and white pepper, to taste

16 ounces jumbo lump crabmeat


For the fingerling potato chips:

vegetable oil, for frying

5 fingerling potatoes

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chopped chives



For the soup:

Heat a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and melt. Once it has melted add the onions to the pot, stirring occasionally until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Stir in the paprika and cayenne until combined, then stir in the tomato paste. Add the corn, chicken stock, bay leaves and thyme. Let simmer for about 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to low.  

Add the diced bacon to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the bacon is crispy and most of the fat has rendered. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Remove the bay leaves and thyme from the pot and discard. Ladle half of the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir to combine. Stir in the cream, return to the soup to a simmer and continue to simmer another 20 minutes. Season with kosher salt and white pepper to taste then stir in the crabmeat and bacon.


For the fingerling potato chips:

Place ½ ‘ of oil in a fry pan and heat to 350°. Thinly slice the potatoes using a mandolin or a knife. In a large bowl combine the paprika, kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder and set aside. Add some of the potatoes in a single layer to the pan and fry in batches until golden brown and crispy on each side, about 2 minutes each side. Remove the chips from the oil, drain on paper towels and toss in the bowl with the seasoning. Sprinkle the chives over the top.


To serve: Ladle the soup into warm soup bowls and top with the fingerling potato chips.

Serves 4.            


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