Forget pumpkin spice, soup season is my favorite part of fall. Bring on the chowder!
This chunky chowder is packed full of sweet corn and crab meat – with just a hint of jalapenos to warm you from the inside out. With a crumbly cornbread topping and sprinkled with candied bacon, chowder just doesn’t get any better than this.
For the topping, crumble and toast about half of your cornbread. It only needs a few minutes under the broiler to get nice and crispy.
Candied bacon is my new favorite way to enjoy bacon – and it’s insanely easy to do. Just mix up maple syrup, brown sugar and rice vinegar and pour it over the strips of thick cut bacon. It not only makes your home smell amazingly delicious, but it is amazing to eat on its own too.
The chowder starts off like any other soup or stew – sauted veggies like onions and leeks make up the base of the chowder.
Then it’s topped off with broth and cream and actual fresh fresh cornbread is used to thicken it all up.
The candied bacon is used in and on top of the chowder (but good luck getting some for yourself – my boyfriend would NOT stop eating the bacon as soon as it came out of the oven!).
You can use fresh lump crab meat or immitation crab. I’ve used both variations in this recipe in the past – basically it just depends on how expensive crab meat is when I get a hankering for chowder.
You can also subsitute white fish or shrimp in the chowder – whatever floats your boat!
Crab Corn Chowder with Candied Bacon
- 2 cups fresh lump crab meat or imitation crab, shredded
- 3 cups sweet corn fresh, canned or frozen (thawed)
- 3 cups corn bread crumbled
- ½ cup sweet onion diced
- 1 leek chopped
- 2 jalapeno diced + more sliced for topping
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons radishes minced (optinal)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 8 oz half & half
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon butter
- crusty bread for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Crumble the cornbread and reserve half. Spread the cornbread crumbles on a greased baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the rice vinegar, maple syrup and brown sugar. Pour the mixture over the bacon strips so they are generously coated. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil and cook the bacon at 400 F until it is crispy, about 20-30 minutes. Let cool while you make the soup, then crumble.
- In a large pot over medium high heat, melt the butter and add in the onion, leek radishes, garlic and jalapeno. Sauté until the onion is tender, about 3-5 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a rapid simmer. Reduce the heat to medium then add the thyme, oregano and bay leaf.
- Add in the sweet corn, remaining (un-toasted) cornbread and half and half. Let the soup simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir until the cornbread has ‘dissolved’ into the soup.
- Stir in the crab meat, the lemon and lime juice, and half of the crumbled candied bacon. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the crab meat is cooked through. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Serve garnished with cornbread crumbles, candied bacon crumbles and jalapeno slices. Enjoy!