Well, it’s rainy and chilly outside (YEA!!!!), and I can’t think of a better recipe for a day like today than clam chowder. I’m from New England, which means that any other kind — Manhattan, Long Island, etc. — just won’t do.
This recipe uses canned clams because I can’t get fresh ones in the Rocky Mountains. If you live near a great fish monger, then by all means, have him shuck a pound of clams for you, and you can use those instead.
new england clam chowder
2-3 slices bacon, chopped
2 6 ounce cans chopped clams (I use Bar Harbor brand.)
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
2 cups chicken stock
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1. Cook bacon in a large pot set over medium heat. When brown, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel. Set aside.
2. Drain juice from clams and pour over potatoes in a medium sized pot. Pour in chicken stock. Add enough water to cover potatoes, if needed. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until potatoes are tender.
3. Add butter and oil to pot, along with the onions and celery. Add in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook on medium for ten minutes until onions are translucent and completely tender. Stir in flour and cook for a minute more. Add in half and half. Stir until smooth and thickened.
4. Without draining, pour potatoes and stock into onion and half and half mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in bacon, clams, lemon juice, pepper, and parsley. Simmer for ten minutes more. Serve.
* Freezing is usually not recommended for cream soups, because things tend to separate. However, we had leftovers which we froze and reheated in a pot over low heat. Though some of the texture was lost, it still was tasty.