It’s December and it’s cold! That usually calls for a goose down parka and mittens, but for The Kitchen Island, cold weather suggests a belly-filling, hot bowl of comfort. So, grab your large enamel pot and let’s get started!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 lb red new potatoes, cut in quarters
2 tsp sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 cup milk
3 cups frozen corn kernels
1 cup asparagus, chopped
1 lb fresh backfin crabmeat, shells removed
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1. Let’s start with the chowder: In a large saucepan, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
2. Time to get those potatoes cooking: Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and put them back into the saucepan along with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and a pinch of pepper.
3. Mash the potatoes over very low heat, gradually incorporating the butter and 3/4 cup of the cream. Keep warm.
4. Back to the chowder: Add the corn and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to the large saucepan of broth and simmer, covered, until the corn is just tender, about 15 minutes. In a food processor, or blender, puree the chowder and then pour it back into the saucepan. I like to use a hand-held immersion blender for the purée step. It makes for an easier preparation and quicker clean up.
5. Add the asparagus to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the crab and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook about 1 minute.
Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, the parsley, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and bring just back to a simmer.
Reheat the potatoes, if necessary. Spoon them into the center of four bowls and pour the chowder around them.