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
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups rinsed, chopped fresh clams
- 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.
- Food Network: Chowder and Soup
- "The New York Times Cookbook"; Craig Claiborne; 1990
- Photo Credit PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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