Clam chowder is a creamy and hearty soup made with clams, potatoes, onions, and other ingredients. Here’s a classic recipe for making clam chowder:
- 2 dozen (24) fresh or canned clams (with juices), chopped
- 4 cups diced potatoes (about 3-4 medium-sized potatoes)
- 1 cup diced onions (1 medium-sized onion)
- 1/2 cup diced celery (2-3 stalks)
- 1/2 cup diced carrots (2 small carrots)
- 4 slices of bacon, diced (optional for added flavor)
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- Prepare the Clams:
- If you are using fresh clams, scrub them thoroughly to remove any sand or debris. Steam the clams until they open, discarding any clams that do not open. Remove the clams from their shells, chop them, and set them aside. Reserve the clam juices.
- If you are using canned clams, drain the clam juice and set it aside. Chop the clams and set them aside.
- Cook the Bacon (Optional):
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until it becomes crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate. Leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pot.
- Saute the Vegetables:
- In the same pot with the bacon fat, add the diced onions, celery, and carrots. Saute for about 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
- Make the Roux:
- Add the butter to the pot and let it melt. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to combine, creating a roux. Cook for a couple of minutes until the roux is lightly golden.
- Add Liquid:
- Gradually add the clam juice (from either fresh or canned clams), whole milk, and heavy cream, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add the bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the chowder has thickened.
- Add Clams and Seasoning:
- Add the chopped clams (both fresh and canned) to the chowder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until the clams are heated through.
- Remove the bay leaf. Ladle the clam chowder into bowls. If desired, garnish with the crispy bacon and chopped fresh parsley.
- Serve the clam chowder hot with crusty bread or oyster crackers. Enjoy your homemade clam chowder!
This clam chowder recipe can be customized to your taste. Some people like to add a dash of hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce for extra flavor. Adjust the seasoning and consistency to your liking as well.