Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Recipe: Clam Chowder

Although I'm not a huge clam chowder fan, from time to time, one might get a craving for that distinctive mix of flavours- the tanginess of the sea, the ribald savouriness of bacon, the starchiness of the potato and the sweetness of chives.

I decided to make some soup, since the memories of New England and Fisherman's Wharf from my last trip to the US in November were kicking in! Thankfully, it is the simplest recipe to make.

It's not the healthiest recipe so whenever I make it, I try to use fresh herbs and ingredients. I also like to serve it with crispy baguette slices or with warm squares of cornbread. It's a brilliant recipe to make on cold nights or for home-style getogethers precisely because people don't get to eat it often.

2 slice hickory-smoked bacon, minced
2 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon butter
3 stalks celery
1 cup onion, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 can clams (6-1/2 ounces)
1 cup bottled clam juice
1-1/2 cups full cream
1 teaspoon marjoram
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
1/8 cups chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp sour cream
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced
Half a baguette, sliced or make a pan of cornbread


  1. Cook bacon until transparent.
  2. Add butter, onions, celery and all the seasoning except dill and parsley.
  3. Cook until tender.
  4. Add flour and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes over low heat.
  5. Add all dairy products, clams and clam juice.
  6. Heat just under boiling point.
  7. Steam potatoes and cool.
  8. Add chopped clams and potatoes.
  9. Bring to a boil slowly and cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
  10. Add dill and parsley.

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