"A New England clam chowder, made as it should be, is a dish to preach about, to chant praises and sing hymns and burn incense before. To fight for. The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought for--or on--clam chowder; part of it at least, I am sure it was. It is as American as the Stars and Stripes, as patriotic as the national Anthem. It is 'Yankee Doodle in a kettle.' "
Yup, it sure is. I can't agree more. My favorite soup. Clams! Chowder! New England Clam Chowder! A favorite soup of the New England region, and one that New Englanders have no problem sharing with the rest of the world.
The soup was very good. I did some things to save time in the kitchen: I used frozen corn instead of fresh, and I bought fresh clams all ready cleaned and chopped. I can't trust myself to clean clams in their shells, because as hard as I try, I always wind up with some sand in the pot. So forget about it. Get ready cleaned clams, I say to myself. In hindsight, I should have not used bacon in this recipe. I like bacon, but I don't often buy it because it's something all of us here at home need to stay away from. So next time, no bacon.
6 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 ribs celery, strings removed, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup small pearl onion, peeled
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups unsalted clam juice
4 small Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 dried bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 large sprigs fresh thyme
2 containers fresh, raw chopped clams, rinsed really well. (they can usually be found next to the fresh crab meat).
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
Potatoes and herbs simmering in the clam broth.... and all of it smelling delicious.
- Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain it on paper towels and and set it aside. I a stock pot heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions. Sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.
- Sprinkle flour over the onions and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes.
- Add the clam juice, 1 cup water, the celery, potatoes, bay leaves, and pepper, cover and bring to a boil. Pick the thyme leaves from their stems and add both the leaves and the stems to pot. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are almost fork tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add the corn and cook 5 minutes.
- Add the clams and cook 5 minutes.
- Add the milk and butter and cook until the butter melts, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves and thyme stems, season with salt and pepper, garnish with bacon pieces and serve.
Bon appetit! ( My recipe is based on one from MarthaStewart.com)