Well, the holiday season is coming to an end. Sigh. I can’t believe tomorrow is the last day of 2014. In my opinion, January is the most depressing month of the year. Sure, you could totally look at it with the whole “fresh start, new resolutions” outlook, but I am more curmudgeonly about it. It signifies the END of something wonderful, not necessarily the BEGINNING. I know, I know. So dramatic.
It’s just that I always get a touch depressed because another whole year has come to an end…in the blink of an eye. And 2014 has basically been the best year yet, so I REALLY don’t want it to end. My little Kieran has changed so much for me…for the better. I know I have so much to look forward to in terms of watching him grow into a wonderful little person, but I want to preserve these precious first few months forever. So special.
Combine that with the fact that I’m returning to work next week…to say I’m not looking forward to 2015 is a slight understatement.
So, I’m closing this year with one of the best versions of comfort food (because I’m in need of comfort!): creamy chowder studded with sweet corn and topped off with the decadence of fresh crab meat. I think you’re supposed to eat pork on New Year’s for luck, right? I’ll be eating soup…with bacon. Totally counts.
I could go on and on about the glory of this soup, but I think it pretty much speaks for itself. Corn chowder. Lump crab meat. Heaven.
I hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s…cheers to 2015! A curmudgeonly cheers on my part.
4 strips bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk
4 cups seafood stock
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
3 cups frozen corn
1 cup half-and-half
2 cups fresh lump crabmeat
Fresh chives, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crisp the bacon in a large stockpot and reserve. Add the butter to the drippings and once melted, sauté the onions, celery, and bell pepper until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and flour and toss everything to coat. Cook for another minute.
Slowly stream in the milk, whisking constantly. Simmer until slightly thickened and then add in the stock, potato, bay leaf, and thyme. Return to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture is thickened and the potato is tender. Season well with salt and pepper.
Add in the corn, half-and-half, and most of the crabmeat (reserving some for garnish). Cook for another few minutes and then check for seasonings, adjusting as necessary.
Ladle the chowder into bowls and top each with additional crabmeat, fresh chives, and a spritz of lemon.