Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crock Pot Pumpkin & Crab Chowder (Dairy Free/Paleo)




Ok, I know I made you guys wait for this one. Normally, I don't blog about my crazy life or busy week but goodness....the last few have been a blur. About two months ago, I agreed to write a 2000-word yoga article and provide four lovely  yoga pics of myself for a magazine

Now, it's hard enough to like a picture of oneself as it is, but add to that putting it in a print magazine and it's pushed to a whole new level! Wait....that's not all! 2000 words, what was I thinking!  So for the past two months I've had a 2000 word writing block. Needless to say, I have stepped way outside my comfort zone! And there you have it, that's my "dog ate my homework" excuse. 

And here you have it (now): Pumpkin & Crab Chowder. Chowders have a rich history and can range from a creamy base to clear & briny, and even tomato based. Old-fashioned chowders were most often made out of just about everything that flew, swam, or grew in the garden. I've loaded this one up with tasty crab meat, asparagus, mushrooms and chives and served it up with my favorite Coconut Flour Pumpkin, Chive & Bacon Biscuits. Enjoy!


Crock Pot Pumpkin & Crab Chowder 

(Dairy Free/Paleo)

Serves 4 as a main course or about 6 as an appetizer. 


Ingredients: 

4 tablespoons ghee or other oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup shallots sliced (about 3-4 shallots)
2 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin (Use butternut squash for 21DSD)
3 cups unsalted chicken broth (more/less for desired consistency)
1 cup asparagus, chopped (or other veggies)
8 oz  mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon packed fresh marjoram, chopped
1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (omit if using salted broth)
1/2 pound crab meat (claw meat is cheapest)*
1 cup full fat coconut milk (I used Natural Value)
Chives to garnish
More salt and pepper to taste


*Variation: Can sub cooked shredded chicken for the crab. All the chicken can be added with the other ingredients early on when you add it to the crock pot. When using crab, art of it is added toward the end of cooking and just before serving because it breaks down easily.

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee/oil in pan over medium heat. Add the prepared garlic and shallots, gently frying them till the shallots are golden. Transfer the shallots, garlic and any leftover oil into a small bowl. Set aside.
Using a food processor or immersion blender, puree the cooked pumpkin, broth and onion mixture till mostly smooth. Transfer to a soup pot/wok over medium heat and slowly bring to a simmer.
Fry the sliced mushrooms in the remaining 2 tablespoons ghee/oil, till they are golden. Then add the mushrooms, asparagus, marjoram, salt (omit if using salted broth) and half of the crab meat to the soup.

At this point I transfer the soup to a crock pot set on low and slow cook for about 3-4 hours. You could also let it simmer on the stove for about one hour instead. However the flavor is much richer when slow cooked.
To serve: 5 minutes before serving, add the coconut milk and the remaining crab meat. Season as desired. Garnish with chopped chives and serve.


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