Crabby Corn Chowder

from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy


 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  3 tablespoons butter 
  3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced 
  2 ribs celery, chopped 
  1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped 
  2 dried bay leaves 
  1/4 cup chili peppers in adobo sauce, pureed
  Salt and freshly ground black pepper  to taste
  3-5 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  2 cups clam juice or fish stock
  4 cups half-and-half or whole milk  
  4 cups fresh corn kernels, scraped from the cob (frozen is okay too) 
  1 pound fresh lump crab meat 
  1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
  Hot sauce for serving (optional) 


Heat a deep pot over medium heat. Add oil and butter. When butter is melted, add potatoes, celery, onion, bay leaves and chipotle peppers to the pot. Season vegetables with salt and pepper, mix well and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle in flour and cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in clam juice and half and half and mix well.

Bring soup up to a simmer and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.

Stir in corn, crab and sherry and simmer for another 5 minutes, until heated through.

Adjust the soup seasonings and remove the bay leaf.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with a few dashes of hot sauce, if desired.

Serve with some crackers, crusty bread or cornbread.

Serves 6 as a first course and 4 as a main course.