In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the tasso and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the shallots and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, sweet potatoes, and water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, and flour. Add to the soup and cook until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the crabmeat and the chives. Season with the salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: 4 entree portions, or 6 to 8 side portions