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  • Corn Chowder with Seasonal Mushrooms and Crab Garnish

  • WINE:

    Color: White, Varietal: Chardonnay, Vineyard: Beringer, Year: 2006, Region: Napa Valley, California
  • FOOD:


    This rich and luxurious soup is a meal in itself. The crab makes it exceptionally good, but can easily be omitted if you’re looking for a simpler meal.


    1 cup (about 5 ounces) pancetta, cut into ¼-inch dice
    2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 ½ cups onion, finely chopped
    1 ½ cups leeks, finely chopped
    ¾ cup celery, finely chopped
    ¾ teaspoon fennel seeds

    1 ¾ pounds new or red-skinned potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes

    4 cups good-quality chicken stock
    3 cups half and half or whole milk
    3 cups corn kernels

    2 tablespoons butter
    ½ pound seasonal mushrooms (chanterelles, morels, or crimini) thickly sliced
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    1 teaspoon thyme

    1/2 pound crabmeat
    2 tablespoons parsley, chopped


    Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and allow to drain.

    Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the pan drippings. Add onion, leeks, celery, and fennel seeds to pot. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes. Add cream and stock and simmer—stirring occasionally—about 10 minutes, until potatoes are almost tender. Add corn and simmer another 5 minutes or so, until potatoes become tender.

    Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and thyme. Add this mixture to the chowder. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Sauté crabmeat in mushroom skillet over medium heat until heated through, about 3 minutes.

    Place a heaping tablespoon of pancetta at bottom of each serving bowl and ladle chowder over. Garnish with crabmeat and parsley. Serve immediately.

    Serves 6-8
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