Chow’der DownPosted: December 7, 2011
Before moving to New England, I wasn’t a big fan of clam chowder. But in the 9 plus years I’ve lived here, I’ve really grown to love it. Because really, what’s not to love about a chunky soup filled with potatoes, veggies and cream, and topped with salty oyster crackers?
Oh yeah, it’s also got clams in it. Which in my version, has two kinds of canned ones (chopped & minced) as well as a few bottles of clam juice. This time I just used russet potatoes, but in the past I’ve used a mix of russet, yukon and red, which added to the flavor. This is a great, hearty soup to warm you up as the weather cools down.
– 3 8oz bottles of clam juice
– 1 lb of russet potatoes (about 3 to 4 good-sized potatoes), peeled & chopped into small pieces
– 4 slices of bacon, diced
– ½ of a large white onion, diced
– 4 celery stalks, diced
– 1 to 2 leeks, diced
– 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
– 2 bay leaves
– ½ cup of dry white wine
– ¼ cup of flour
– 6 6.5oz cans of clams (3 chopped, 3 minced), drained & juices reserved
– 1 ¼ cups of half & half
– 1 tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning
– Oyster crackers
Bring the bottled clam juice and potatoes to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and let cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
In a Dutch oven or a large stockpot, cook the diced bacon until crispy over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, leeks, garlic and bay leaves, and cook until veggies are soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk in the white wine, then stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 to 2 cups of reserved clam juices, depending on how thick you want the chowder. I like it thick so I only used 1 cup. Add the potato & clam juice mixture, clams, half & half and Old Bay. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken. Serve warm, topped with oyster crackers.
This clam chowder is even better on the second and third days, as the flavors really meld. I always load it up with a lot of oyster crackers for that awesome creamy/crunchy texture.