Part of what makes a chowder so good is when it is creamy and chock full of potatoes. This version of Crab and Corn Chowder nixes heavy cream and is a delicious dairy free alternative, getting its creaminess from coconut milk and pureed corn and potatoes.
In a large pot or Dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir in about half of the corn kernels and half of the potatoes, followed by the coconut milk, clam stock, and chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium heat. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender, then use an immersion blender to blend the soup until creamy. You can also use a blender, working in batches – blend for a few seconds on low speed, taking care to hold cover down with a towel to prevent any spills with the hot liquid. The soup should still have some body, and not be too smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan.
Season the soup with salt and pepper, to taste. Make a slurry by whisking the corn starch and water in a small bowl until smooth, then whisk into the soup. Bring to a boil, then add the remaining potatoes and corn kernels, along with the sweet potato and yellow squash. Return the soup to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Stir in the bay leaf and thyme. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes, stirring periodically.
Add the crab meat and stir until it is just heated through. Ladle the soup into bowls and enjoy immediately.
Make it Pescatarian: The one ingredient that keeps this from being fully pescatarian is the chicken stock. Feel free to substitute with more clam stock or vegetable stock. My favorite option is Better than Bouillon's Vegetarian No Chicken Base.Crab Meat: I used Dungeness crab in this recipe, but blue crab will work nicely, too. To make prep simpler, you can check with your fish monger for pre-shelled crab.