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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. 

 

Ingredients:

For the Chowder: 

¾ pound applewood smoked bacon, diced into ½”-wide strips 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

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

1 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne 

2 teaspoons tomato paste

4 cups chicken stock

2 bay leaves 

1 sprig of thyme

½ cup heavy cream

Kosher salt, as needed 

Ground white pepper, as needed 

16 ounces jumbo lump crabmeat

 

For the fingerling potato chips:

Vegetable oil, as needed, for frying

5 fingerling potatoes

½ teaspoon paprika 

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chopped chives

 

Instructions:

For the soup: 

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat then add the diced bacon to the pot. 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, leaving as much rendered fat in the pan as possible and set the bacon aside.

Return the Dutch oven to heat then add the butter and allow to melt. Add the onions to the pot, stirring occasionally until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the corn, continuing to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika, cayenne and tomato paste, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken stock, bay leaves and thyme, Bring the soup to a boil then lower heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes. 

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. Whisk in the cream, then return to the soup to a simmer and continue to cook another 10 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 and drain on a paper towel-lined plate then toss in the bowl with the seasoning. Sprinkle the chives over the top.  


For serving:

Ladle the soup into warmed soup bowls and top with the fingerling potato chips. 

 

Serves 4.            

 

 

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