As the cook in charge of making crab soup every day at Gertrude's Chesapeake Kitchen in Baltimore, Yolanda Johnson is known as the Patapsco River Soup Queen. She makes classic crab soup and cream of crab soup. But what about crab chowder? New England has creamy clam chowder. Manhattan has its own version of clam chowder. Why not chowder up the Chesapeake blue crab?John Shields, the owner of Gertrude's and author of books on regional cooking, challenged Yolanda Johnson to come up with crab chowder. The results were delicious, and you can get the recipe below. Remember: ----Nothing takes the chill off like chowder.----John Shields' new book is, ----The New Chesapeake Kitchen,---- from Johns Hopkins University Press.Chesapeake Crab Chowder(Serves 4 to 6)1/2 stick butter, or 2 tablespoons butter ---- 2 tablespoons bacon grease1 small onion, diced3 stalks celery, diced about the same size as the onion2 tablespoons all-purpose flour4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed2 cups crab or fish stock3 cups heavy cream1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves1 bay leaf1 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon pepper1 pound lump crabmeat, gently picked over for shellsCrumbled bacon bits, for garnishChopped flat leaf parsley, for garnishDirections:In a four-quart saucepan, melt the butter or butter and bacon grease. Saut\u233\u theonion and celery until both are slightly tender, about five minutes. Whisk inthe flour and cook for one minute. Add the potatoes, stock, cream, thyme andbay leaf. Bring almost to a boil, reduce heat, and cook over medium heatfor about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender. Add thecrabmeat, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking for 5 minutes to heat thecrabmeat through.Serve the chowder sprinkled with bacon bits and garnish with parsley.