Crab Chowder with Roasted Red Pepper
Sour cream adds a tangy note to the creamy base of this chowder. While the roasted red peppers and potatoes are cook with the chowder base, the crab meat is added separately at the end, creating an island of fresh crab in the center of the soup.
- Butter - 3 ounces, at room temperature
- Onions - 1 cup, diced
- Garlic Clove - 1, minced
- Red Bell Peppers - 4, large, roasted, seeded, deribbed, and cut in small dice (see Basics)
- All-Purpose Flour - 3 ounces
- Seafood or Fish stock - 1-1/2 quarts, warmed (alt. clam juice)
- Fresh Thyme - 2 - 3 sprigs
- Sea Salt - 2 teaspoons (omit if using clam juice)
- Freshly ground black pepper - 2 teaspoons
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Sour Cream - 1-1/2 cups
- Red Potatoes - 2, large, cut in 1/2-inch dice and blanched
- Dungeness Crab - 1, cooked and shelled
- Italian Parsley - 1 bunch, chopped
- Paprika - for dusting
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the onions and garlic until softened. Reserve 1/2 cup of the diced red peppers. Add the remaining diced peppers to the onions and garlic and cook until softened. Sift the flour over the vegetables in the pan and stir together; cook 2 minutes. Heat the stock in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat until nearly boiling. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the sauteed onions and peppers, thyme, sea salt, and pepper. Cover and cook for 25 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Combine the cream and sour cream in a bowl and whisk in two cups of hot stock until smooth. Pour the mixture into the stock pan and whisk to blend. Add the potatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve: In the top of a double boiler, toss the crab meat, parsley, and reserved red peppers together and heat over simmering water. Spoon the chowder into deep-rim soup plates. Place a scoop of the crab mixture in the center of each chowder. Dust the rims of the soup plates with paprika.