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Author Notes: Dungeness Crab adds a special NW touch to this classic chowder. Chunks of Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet onion, fennel and red pepper make this soup hearty and fresh basil adds the finishing touch. —Mary Miller | A Passionate Plate
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 pound Dungeness crab meat
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels (3 ears), cobs reserved
- 3 cups diced Walla Walla Sweet onion (or any sweet onion)
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced fennel, plus a few fennel fronds for garnish
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Cut the corn cobs into 2 inch chunks.
- In a large pot, heat the chicken stock until it begins to simmer. Add the corn cobs, cover and simmer for 10 minutes more.
- While the cobs are cooking, prepare a roux. Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter in a small sauté pan. When the butter has melted, whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Strain the chicken stock mixture into a bowl and discard the cobs.
- Return the pot to the stove and add the remaining 1 Tbsp. of butter. When the butter is melted and sizzling, add the onion, bell pepper, and fennel. Cook, stirring occasionally, unit the onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Whisk the roux mixture into the onion mixture, then add the potatoes, corn, 1 cup of reserved chicken stock, and 3 cups of whole mile. Bring the chowder to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Taste the chowder and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Just before serving, stir in the crab (reserving a few nice pieces for garnishing), sliced basil, and fennel fronds. Garnish with additional crab and serve immediately.