Crab and Mussel Chowder

This is a special favourite of ours, I used to put it on the menu at The Great Tree Hotel, Devon when the crab and mussels were at their best and we always sold out especially when served with our own home baked bread.

Serves: 10 this is for 10 servings as it is easier to increase from 10 servings.

Time: About 10 to 45 minutes that includes the prep time

  • 16 ounces, potatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 ounces, bacon
  • 3 tablespoons, finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon, lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons, finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon, fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoon, plain flour
  • 1½ pounds, fresh mussels
  • 2 cups, chopped leeks
  • 750mls, white wine (I use a nice crisp Chardonnay)
  • ½ cup double cream
  • ¾ teaspoon, sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon, freshly ground pepper (I prefer to use white in this dish)
  • 1 pound, white crabmeat

  1. Parboil the potatoes, slice the potatoes into ¼-inch thick slices, place in a medium saucepan (at least 4-quart size) with about 2 inches of cold water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the potatoes just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and set to one side.
  2. Prepare the chowder, Heat the olive oil in the saucepan over a medium heat, add the bacon, garlic, lemon zest, shallots, thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots and garlic are softened and the bacon is lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
  3. Gradually add the flour, stirring well, add the mussels and wine, and cover, bring to a low boil over a medium heat.
  4. Remove the mussels as they open, using a slotted spoon, and set to one side. Reduce the heat to a medium low heat, and add the potatoes and leeks to the chowder and continue to cook until the potatoes and leeks are tender about 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the double cream, season the chowder with the sea salt and pepper and lightly fold the crabmeat and mussels into the chowder, serve right away in warmed soup bowls with nice crusty bread.

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