Clam Chowder

I have been making a lot of soups lately and was craving a seafood stew or chowder. I don’t normally buy canned clams but I had them for a dip that I didn’t end up making. I was thinking about making Manhattan clam chowder but my children, who absolutely adore creamy clam chowder, asked me to make the New England version instead. I agreed but knew that I would be making a healthier version. I adapted a recipe by Dave Lieberman. The soup was really good although it tasted more like a delicious potato soup with clams. Next time I will substitute a bit of clam juice for some of the chicken broth. Overall, it was a great soup for a cold rainy day. The clams were really tender and delicious and the crunchy, salty bacon was the perfect garnish. My daughter LOVED this chowder and ate two full bowls.

I am entering this recipe in the Seven Fishes Feast hosted by Joe from Italyville and Maryann from Finding La Dolce Vita.

  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3/4 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 (6.5 oz) cans chopped clams in juice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups 2 % milk
  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat. Once the bacon is done, remove to paper towels for later use. Remove all but 2 teaspoons of bacon grease from Dutch oven. Add the onion and celery to the pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes then add the minced garlic and stir frequently for 45 seconds. Add the clam juice (reserving the clams for later), 3 cups of chicken stock, milk, russet potatoes, sea salt, black pepper and bay leaf. Cover over medium low heat for 60 minutes.

When the potatoes are tender, bring the soup to a slight boil. Mix the corn starch with the 1/4 cup of chicken stock and mix thoroughly. Add the slurry to the soup and stir. Taste and re-season if desired; add the clams and stir, mixing thoroughly. Reduce heat and let the soup thicken for few minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and top with bacon crumbles and parsley. Enjoy.

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