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New England Clam Chowder

  • Category: Seafood, Soup
  • Submitted By: Isaac Owsley
  • Town/State: Sonora, CA
  • Serves: 6 – 8
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Cooking time: 1 hour

With the recent spate of rainy weather reminiscent of the gray skies and crisp weather of the coastal towns in northern California, the idea of a large steaming bowl of New England clam chowder begins to sound more and more appetizing to the mind. While there are probably as many “secret” family recipes for this soup as there are families in the United States, there are probably only a few that distinguish themselves as great. While not boasting that this is one of those that ranks among truly “great”, it is a recipe I have worked on and adjusted to be what it is today, a simple to make yet rich and delicious soup that pleases the palate and fills your stomach.

Amount Measure Ingredients
2 lbs frozen clam meat or 1 32oz can whole clams
6 oz bacon, chopped
3 stalks celery diced
1 medium yellow onion chopped fine
6 large russet potatoes peeled and diced ½”
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoon butter
½ – ¾ cup roux (equal amounts flour and oil mixed and heated thru)
2 – 3 drops Tabasco brand sauce
    Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare:

Heat a large heavy stockpot over medium high heat; add bacon, celery, and onion. Stir constantly over heat not letting the onions caramelize (brown). Add the clams and potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer 20-30 minutes or until potatoes start to turn tender. Add the whole milk and return to simmer, then add the roux and return to a boil to thicken, being careful not to let it scorch. Add the heavy cream, butter, Tabasco, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with oyster crackers or in a sourdough bread bowl.

Note: try adding 12 oz small shrimp and 8 oz imitation crab to the chowder just after adding the heavy cream for a delicious variation on basic clam chowder.