New England Clam Chowder

Heather says:
Sometimes canned soup is good enough, but once you have had the real deal, it’s hard to go back. Try topping this basic clam chowder with a sprinkling of Old Bay Seasoning and a small handful of sliced green onions. This recipe is a good example of how simple a New England clam chowder can be. This creamy soup is not suitable for freezing, but it will last for several days in the refrigerator. 

 

New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

Ingredients:

 

  • 3 uncooked slices of  bacon (use 4 if they are thin slices)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium, peeled and diced potatoes
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 2 cans baby clams (drained, but with the juice reserved)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half (optional)
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • Green onions – Garnish
  • Old Bay Seasoning – Garnish

bacon-in-potPlace your bacon slices in a heavy pot and turn the heat to medium. While the bacon is cooking dice the onions. Remove the bacon from the pan when it is done cooking, but before it is crisp. It’s important not to overcook the bacon as it will create a burnt flavor in the grease. There will be browned bits of bacon stuck to the bottom of the pan, this is just fine and will loosen when liquids are added.

onions-in-bacon-greaseSet aside the cooked bacon strips, turn the heat to medium low and add the diced onions. Stir occasionally and cook until soft. While the onions are cooking, peel and dice the potatoes. Once the onions are soft add the flour to the pan and whisk to remove any lumps.

The first time you make this recipe, use bottled clam juice. If you discover you are a true fan and will make this more in the future, consider buying clam base. In my supermarket it is found near the bouillons, but you may have to ask someone at your store.

The first time you make this recipe, use bottled clam juice. If you discover you are a true fan and will make this more in the future, consider buying clam base to cut costs. In my supermarket it is found near the bouillons, but you may have to ask.

Continue whisking and add the clam juice (including the juice reserved from the cans) then the potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. It should be anywhere from 10 – 15 minutes.

Crumble the bacon while you wait. At this point I like to use the whisk to break up some of the potatoes to create a thicker soup, but it is not required.

Add the milk, clams, crumbled bacon, and salt/pepper. Heat thoroughly, stirring often, but do not bring to a boil. If you would like a richer broth, add the half and half at this time. We are huge Old Bay fans in this house, so I add some to the soup itself. Stir gently, top with green onions, and serve. 

Enjoy!



4 Comments

  1. Heather on April 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Oops, no, I accidentally left it off. Add the bacon when you add the clams. Otherwise you can substitute 2 – 3 TBSP of bacon fat or butter.

  2. Stacy on April 22, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    The bacon is just used for the fat, is that correct? I didn’t see where you used the bacon itself. I ask because I recently read up and started saving bacon fat for cooking occasionally, and I have some in the refrigerator. Do you know about how much of it I’d use?

  3. Heather on April 21, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Many canned clam chowders have a different texture to them, I think it comes from the canning process. If you really want to surprise him, use fresh clams, but you’ll have to shuck and chop them.

  4. Keter on April 21, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    My husband will thank you, Heather; he is from Maryland and loves clam chowder, but not canned clam chowder. Me, being from Texas, didn’t know clam chowder from chilaquiles, and thought it would be hard to make. Now I’ll be making a batch! :o)

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