How to Make Chowder

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Clam chowder, corn chowder, seafood chowder, potato chowder or the myriad variations on the chowder theme all have something in common: they are one-pot comfort soups. The composition of this soup varies by region. Traditional chowders hail from the Northeast and include a base of cream, onions and potatoes. Gather the right ingredients and follow a few simple steps to make a traditional clam chowder.

Things You'll Need

  • Large, heavy pot or Dutch oven
  • Large wooden spoon
  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cups medium-diced celery
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots
  • 4 cups peeled, medium-diced red potatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups clam juice
  • Small saucepan
  • Whisk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups rinsed, chopped fresh clams
  • Ladle
  • Cooked, crumbled bacon
  • Toast points
  • Melt 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) of butter over medium heat in the pot.

  • Turn down the stove to medium-low, add onions and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until they are translucent.

  • Transfer the celery, carrots, potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper to the pot and cook for approximately 10 additional minutes until vegetables begin to soften.

  • Add clam juice and bring to a boil over high heat.

  • Simmer the mixture for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender.

  • Melt the remaining eight tbsp. of butter in a small saucepan and slowly whisk in the flour, eliminating any clumps as you whisk. Whisk the butter and flour paste continuously over low heat for three minutes.

  • Whisk in a cup of the hot clam broth into the butter-flour paste and then transfer this mixture into the vegetable-clam broth pot.

  • Stir occasionally and simmer until thickened.

  • Add the clams and milk to the chowder and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the clams are cooked through.

  • Adjust the salt and pepper seasonings and ladle the chowder into warm bowls.

  • Top the chowder with crumbled bacon and serve with toast points.

Tips & Warnings

  • Canned clams may be substituted for fresh, and they should be rinsed before using.

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References

  • Photo Credit PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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