Last night, I was really wanting potato soup…and wound up making something even better: Crab and CornDsc_0021  Chowder.  This is what I cooked up.

In a large pot, saute 4 slices of bacon cut in 1 inch pieces until crispy.  Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease.  Add 1 cup chopped onion and 2 stalks celery chopped and saute until soft.  Dice approx. 1 lb of baby potatoes and stir into pot.  Add butter if needed.  Add 2 cloves of garlic, minced and fresh thyme and fennel seeds.  I added 1 cup of chardonnay because I had some left over in our fridge and I used the wine to loosen the "good bits" on the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of Wondra flour and stir for a few moments until the mixture thickens.   Add 2 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and add 1 small package of frozen corn (of course fresh IS better if you have it).  Stir in half and half (approx 1 cup or so) and simmer.  Spice with salt and pepper.  I used Fennel Salt which was outstanding.   Add 1 cracked fresh dungeness crab.   Simmer and season to taste.

Serve with crusty bread to dip into the broth.