Gluten Free Potato and Crab Chowder

I was at the store the other day picking out produce and decided to get potatoes.  I always struggle between buying conventional or organic potatoes.  I know I should buy organic because they are on the dirty dozen list – which lists the produce that should be bought organically because of high amount of pesticides on the crop.  Alternatively, there is a clean 15 list, which highlights produce that has the least likelihood of being contaminated with pesticides when grown conventionally.  So the thought is, buy organic for the dirty dozen, and conventional is fine for the clean 15.

I still struggle to buy organic for all of the dirty dozen because organic can be so much more expensive, such is the case for bell peppers and potatoes.  I went back and forth and finally put a bag of conventional potatoes in my basket because it was $4 less.  As I was walking towards the back of the produce, I glanced at the “reduced produce” shelves, expecting to see brown bananas and a few other random things as usual.  Instead, I saw several bags of  potatoes, so I headed over to check them out.  They were ORGANIC potatoes for only 99 cents per bag and upon further inspection, they looked perfectly fine – I couldn’t even find any brown/rotten spots.  I grabbed two bags and put back the “dirty” conventional potatoes – all proud of myself.

Now that I had two bags of potatoes that were probably headed towards expiration, I knew I needed to come up with some potato recipes.  Immediately, I thought of Potato Soup and Twice Baked Potatoes, but I have to jazz everything up, so I settled on Twice Baked Taco Potatoes (to freeze for nights when we don’t want to cook) and Potato and Crab Chowder.  The Potato and Crab Chowder actually started off as just Loaded Baked Potato Soup, but I remembered that I had some frozen crab meat in the freezer that I needed to use up before it was freezer burnt.

I loosely based it off of this Chunky Potato Crab Chowder recipes, but had some significant changes.  I didn’t peel the potatoes, but some recommended that if you should peel non-organic potatoes, since more pesticides would be on the skin.  If you don’t have or like crab, you can make this without the crab as Potato Chowder.  I buy the real crab meat that is sold in cans in the refrigerated case in the meat department and I only buy it when it’s on sale.  You can also add bacon pieces if you want that flavor.

potato and crab chowderPotato and Crab Chowder

  • 2 Tablespoons butter or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb of russet potatoes, chopped into one inch cubed squares (or 6 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
  • 3 Tablespoons gluten-free flour (or all-purpose)
  • 2 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 3 cups or one carton chicken broth (watch for gluten)
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat (I had 1 1/2 cups frozen lump crabmeat)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • shredded cheese, optional
  • hot sauce, optional
  • real bacon pieces, optional
Melt butter or coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Add red pepper, sauté 1 minute.  Add potato and chickpeas; sauté 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, thyme, pepper, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, corn, and broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally.
Using an immersion blender, blend soup to your preferred creaminess.  I like leaving a lot of chunks with a creamy broth.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, see tips below for safely blending hot soup.  Pour pureed soup back into the pot.  Stir in crab and salt; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle with cheese and hot sauce, if desired, before serving.  Serve with rolls or crusty bread.  I made Nuts Online Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread and it was excellent.  It has a fairly strong rye taste, so you’d have to like that.
potato and crab chowder with bread
If you don’t have an immersion blender, remove two cups of soup to puree in a blender.  Blending hot liquids in a blender can could an explosion because hot liquids will expand when blended.  Don’t fill the blender more than halfway; puree in batches if necessary and always hold on lid tightly and cover with a dishtowel to protect your hand.

  • The best option is to try to cool the liquid before blending.  Try sticking it in the freezer or set the bowl down in another bowl full of ice or ice water.
  • If your blender has a removable cap in the middle, take the cap out and cover the lid with a dishtowel and hold the lid on firmly when blending.  Pulse soup for a few seconds at a time and stop to allow the steam to escape.
  • If you don’t have a removable cap in the middle, pulse for 1-2 seconds and carefully remove lid for steam to escape.  Repeat until blended to your preference.

If you want to buy a stick blender, I have this immersion blender from Amazon and love it.  There aren’t very many left at that price, so this one appears to be the same.

*amazon affiliate links included

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