Introduction: Corn and Crab Chowder

My wife is allergic to cow's milk so she misses out on lots of tasty foods. Like creamy soups that are perfect as we move into fall and winter and/or when the furnace blows up on the first cold night of the season. Since we met both conditions last week, I decided it was time to get around that cow's milk thing and whip up this corn and crab chowder. No cow's milk, light on potatoes since I have diabetes (yet another dietary restriction to deal with).

Step 1: Ingredients

  • 4 oz pancetta, prosciutto, or good ol' bacon
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 Tbsp Fleischmann's Unsalted Stick Margarine
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 64 oz low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small Idaho potato, 1/4-1/2 inch diced
  • 16 oz lump crabmeat
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, diced
  • 16 oz whole kernel corn
  • 1 Tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp chopped thyme
  • 2 pint cartons Silk Creamer (soy based)

Step 2: Meat

Chop the pancetta into small strips. Cook over medium heat in a stockpot for 2-3 minutes or until crisp.

Step 3: Vegetables

Add celery, garlic, and onion to the pot. Stir and cook until soft but not browned (about 4-5 min).

Step 4: Margerine

Add stick margarine, stirring in until melted. You could always use butter or any margarine for this, but I used the Fleischmann's brand since it's cow milk free.

Step 5: Flour

Add flour, stirring until mixed with the other ingredients in the pot. Let cook for about 3 min, stir and scrape the bottom of the pot every 30 seconds or so. Pull the pot off the heat the flour mixture starts to brown/burn. The end product should look and feel sticky since it's going to thicken up the chowder.

Step 6: Chicken Stock

Add chicken stock with a whisk to blend the flour mixture and liquid.

Step 7: Potato

Add the diced potato. Season with salt and pepper and increase the heat to medium high. Cook and stir the pot occasionally for about 10 min or until it comes to a boil.

Note this is a place where one could add more potato or even omit completely. Again, I went with a small one to get some of the taste but without lots of the carbs that I can do without.

Step 8: Crab

Turn heat to medium, and let the soup simmer for 10-15 min until the potatoes are tender. While you're waiting, put the crabmeat into a large bowl. Break it apart and remove any pieces of shell you find. Add to the soup once the potatoes are soft.

Step 9: Corn

Add corn, red bell pepper, thyme, Old Bay, and Tabasco. The Tabasco/cayenne is purely optional, but it adds a nice kick. Old Bay and crab just belong together. The red pepper is going to give a little sweetness to the mix, hence adding it now rather than cooking with the other vegetables in step 3.

Step 10: Creamer

Gradually stir in the Silk Creamer (or light cream if you want a cow milk version). Let simmer for 2-3 min until warmed through.

Step 11: Soup! (There It Is)

I had some fresh chives sitting around for this one, so I chopped them up and added to the mix. You could ignore this step or play with different herbs at the end (e.g., parsley, rosemary...scallions might make a nice addition to each bowl).

Short of that, you're now free to grab a bowl and dig in!