Although the traditional white clam chowder has origins in New England, the hearty soup is enjoyed throughout the entire United States — especially in San Francisco where it's commonly served in sourdough bread bowls. Since I grew up eating the hearty and creamy soup, I find it incredibly tasty and absolutely comforting. A combination of bacon, potatoes, clams, and milk, it's the perfect one-pot meal for a cold and stormy evening. A cream-based soup isn't the healthiest of dishes, but with a side of mixed greens, it makes for an informal celebratory meal. For my favorite recipe, keep reading.
2 dozen cherrystone clams, well scrubbed
2 cups chicken broth
8 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large onions, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 can chopped clams with their juice
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Place the clams in a large soup pot along with the 2 cups of chicken broth. Cover, and cook over medium heat until the clams open. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Discard any that don't open.
- Remove the clams from their shells, and coarsely chop the clams. Strain; reserve the broth.
- Cook the bacon in a large soup pot over low heat until fat is rendered and the bacon is wilted and slightly browned on the edges, about 5 minutes.
- Add the butter and onions, and cook, stirring until the onions are wilted, 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the flour and cook, stirring, another 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, potatoes, thyme, and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes longer. Add the clams, canned clams, and their juice and simmer, stirring often, until the potatoes are tender 12-15 minutes. Do not over cook, or the clams will be tough.
- Add the milk and cream, and stir well over very low heat until hot. Do not boil, or the soup will curdle. Adjust the seasonings, stir in the parsley, and serve immediately.
- Soups/Stews, Cream
- North American