An Italian American who loves to share food and travel adventures
New England Clam Chowder Soup-er
November 1, 2016
Next up on our week of Soup-er dinners, I’m resurrecting a favorite in our household, New England Clam Chowder. This recipe was originally shared by a good friend and neighbor Mike. He is the man you want to know for any great soup recipe!
My love of New England clam chowder goes back a few decades to my first bowl of this soup in San Francisco. Walking along Fisherman’s Wharf local fisherman were hawking their shrimp or crab cocktail, clam chowder, and other fresh fishes that you could grab and continue to walk along the pier. Even the soup was portable in bread bowls or paper cups. Yum, savory memories.
This is the perfect soup to serve in a French bread bowl, with oyster crackers, or a hunk of Italian bread.
• 4 6 oz cans of minced or chopped claims, with juice (we sometimes use more clams if we want it extra clammy)
• 1/3 pound fresh sliced bacon or salt pork
• 1 large fresh garden onion, finely diced
• 1 rib of fresh garden celery, minced (we grow our celery in the garden and it does add more flavor, but have used store bought celery too and it is good)
• 4-6 medium fresh dug garden potatoes, pared and cut into bite sized chunks or cubes (no, we don’t grow our own potatoes – yet – but this was part of the recipe instructions.)
• 1 bay leaf
• ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
• 1 quart of fresh milk, scalded (may use half fresh cream for a thicker soup)
• ½ cup of fresh butter
• ¼ cup of all purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons sea salt, adjust to taste (clams can be salty so be careful)
• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns, adjust to taste
Fry bacon or salt pork in a heavy pan or Dutch oven until all fat is rendered (melted).
Add onions and celery and brown lightly.
Add butter and melt. With a wire whisk, blend in the flour and stir constantly for 5 minutes.
Next add the clams with clam juice and stir constantly, breaking up any lumps that form.
Add cubed potatoes milk, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and thyme and continue stirring.
Decrease heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Stir frequently to avoid burning or sticking.
Optional: Top with a pat of butter and sprinkling of paprika and/or freshly chopped parsley.
Note: We often purchase a large can of clams from a warehouse store (Costco) and use it in place of the smaller sized cans. It adds more clams than the recipe calls for and oh so good results.