My mom was bringing some stuff over to our apartment a couple weeks ago, and she called before she left to ask me if I wanted a can of clams she had laying around the house. Of course I said yes, please! What she failed to mention was that she had bought it at Costco, and that it was a 3 POUND can. Damn, that’s a lotta clams. I was left scratching my head over what the heck to do with all this briny deliciousness, when I decided there was no better time to try making one of my favorite winter soups – clam chowder!
Clam chowder is something I often order at restaurants, but making it from scratch just seemed way above my skill level. And yet I haphazardly jumbled two recipes together (Simply Recipes and Allrecipes), and it STILL came out absolutely delicious, so what do I know? It’s thick, creamy, and chock full of tasty clams – the perfect meal to warm your belly on a cold night. In fact, I was planning on looking for another recipe to use up the rest of the clams, but Hubs and I liked the chowder so much that we made another batch 2 days later! The clams leftover from that were then tossed into pasta, and that’s the story of the week we ate nothing but clams.
New England Clam Chowder
- 2 cups chopped clams
- 1.5 cups clam juice
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup minced onion
- 2 cups diced potatoes
- 4 strips of bacon
- white wine
- 1 cup half and half
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup flour, plus 2 tbsp
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- salt & pepper
- Cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. Brown in a Dutch oven until crispy, then remove bacon and put aside for later.
- Cook onions and celery in the delicious bacon fat until softened. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour in and mix well. Let it cook for a few minutes.
- Add potatoes, along with 2 glugs of wine. Add enough clam juice to just about cover the potatoes, about 1.5 cups.
- Toss in the bay leaf, thyme, and Old Bay seasoning. Cover and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
- While you’re waiting for the potatoes, make a basic roux by melting the butter in a sauce pan over med-high heat. Whisk in 2 tbsp of flour, and let the mixture cook for a few minutes before slowly whisking in the half and half. Turn down the heat and mix frequently – it’ll thicken up rather quickly!
- When the potatoes are done, turn off the heat and add in clams. Fold in the roux mixture, reserved bacon, and parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in bread bowls if you want to be super fancy. Enjoy!