New England Clam Chowder
Packed with clams, corn, and potatoes, this hearty soup is so good it can be the main course.
A chowder is traditionally a chunky seafood soup with potatoes and cream. This recipe is a quick soup that has the depth and flavor of an all-day-on-the-stove stew. I serve it as the first course every Thanksgiving, and even with a huge feast immediately on the horizon I still get a lot of requests for seconds. Make this soup any time and freeze it to enjoy whenever you crave this classic American concoction.
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; sauté pan; wooden spoon; tongs or slotted spoon; wet and dry measuring cups; measuring spoons; Dutch oven or large pot; large spoon;
4 slices thick slab bacon 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 medium onions, finely diced ¼ cup all-purpose flour 4 cups fish stock 3 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice 1 cup heavy cream 2 large Idaho potatoes, cut into ¼-inch cubes Salt and ground white pepper (or freshly ground black pepper) to taste
¼ cup chopped parsley
oyster crackers for garnish
ILOC tip: If you can't find fish stock, use chicken stock. The most important thing is not to use water if you want a true depth of flavor. An extra bottle of clam juice also does wonders! It's all about technique, not torture!
1. First prepare the bacon. Cut the bacon in ½-inch strips crosswise. Place them in a sauté pan, and turn the heat to medium-low, stirring frequently until the bacon browns and crisps. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate the drain of any excess fat. Set aside.
2. Heat the butter in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened but not at all browned, stirring frequently, about 6-8 minutes.
3. Stir in the flour to distribute evenly and cook for one minute. Add the stock, juice from 2 cans of chopped clams, cream, and potatoes. Stir well to combine and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir gently as the mixture thickens, then reduce the heat to low and cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes are tender.
4. Add the reserved clams and corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper and for another two minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley and remove from the heat.
5. Serve immediately with bacon and oyster crackers.
Makes 8, 1-cup servings.
Store in an airtight container for up to one week, or freeze immediately after it cools.