Now, I've found myself to be in the minority when I declare Manhattan Clam Chowder to be my favorite type. Manhattan variety has a tomato-based brothy base, with a hint of heat from crushed red chile flakes. It's not only the flavor, it's the brothiness; I tend to prefer brothy soups. It was actually the very first recipe that I shared right here on my blog over six years ago, and I just happened to post an updated recipe less than a week ago.
That said, I do like the creamy New England variety...I think. Yes, I'm ducking right now. I saw that only because I can't remember the last time I ate any. It was probably when I was still working in restaurants. So, it's been at least seven years. You can probably guess where this is going; you'll be seeing yet another clam chowder recipe in this space soon.
Upon looking at the simple ingredient list, one might assume it was boring or drab. It's actually just the opposite. It seems to be the version that tastes (dare I say) the purest. It's broth is clear, and tastes like ocean air...salty...clammy. It has some underlying heat from a healthy dose of black pepper, as well.
I have a feeling that I need to head over to the west coast and look into some Pacific clam chowders soon, as well. I hear they serve it in a bread bowl in San Francisco—HELLO!
Rhode Island Clam Chowder
With origins along Rhode Island's southern coast, this simple clam chowder has a clear broth crowded with clams and potatoes, and the pleasant heat of black pepper.
Prep Time: 10 minutes (+ time for the soup to rest)
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: simmer soup/stew dairy-free soy-free sugar-free clams potatoes American
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
- 12 to 16 ounces canned clams, chopped or whole (see note)
- 4 ounces bacon
- 2 small yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 large ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/2 cup white wine (nothing fruity, choose dry)
- 16 ounces red potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 quart clam juice, broth (or fish or seafood stock)
- few sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Drain the canned clams, pouring the liquid from them into a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Add enough clam stock or juice (or alternative) to yield 4 cups (1 quart); set aside. At this point, if you want to chop any of the clams, do that and then reserve them.
Cut the bacon crosswise ito 1/4-inch strips. Put in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, and cook until done, 5-7 minutes. Scoop out the bacon and transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate; reserve. You should have about 1-1/2 tablespoons of bacon grease left in the pot; if you don't, add a bit of oil or fat to make that amount (or pour off any extra).
Set the pot back over medium heat and add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until soft and turning translucent. Pour in the wine and let it bubble up for 1 minute.
Add the potatoes, clam broth, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Stir the reserved clams and bacon into the pot and add a good amount of black pepper (I use 1 teaspoon to start, then add more to my bowl - taste to find your sweet spot), to taste. I usually find that clam chowder does not need any extra salt, especially if you've used canned clams, as the bacon adds some, too; be sure to taste before automatically adding some in. Let sit for 30 minutes, then remove the thyme stems and bay leaf. Warm slightly before serving, if you wish.
Stir in the parsley just before serving, with oyster crackers on the side.
If you want to use fresh clams, you'll need about 48 small hardshells. Place the clams in a large pot and cover with 1-1/2 quarts of water. Set pot over medium-heat heat and bring to a boil, then cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until all the clams have opened, about 12 minutes; discard any clams that don't open. Set a strainer over a bowl and line it with cheesecloth or a damp coffee filter; pour the cooking liquid through the strainer. Remove the clams from their shells. Use this liquid where the recipe calls for clam broth.
You can also use a mixture of fresh and canned clams. Just use enough canned clams to make up for what you don't have in fresh.
-adapted from Sam Sifton via NY Times Cooking
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month's theme is Soup’s On! and is hosted by Lauren Keating who blogs at Healthy. Delicious. Need some warming up? We can help!
- Lamb and Barley Soup from Healthy. Delicious.
- Sausage, Pepper and Bean Soup from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Creole Black Eyed Pea Soup from Never Enough Thyme
- Old Fashioned Chicken Soup with Dumplings from Creative Culinary
- Watercress and Buttermilk Vichysoisse from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Pressure Cooker Chorizo Chicken and Kale Soup from Pressure Cooking Today
- Rhode Island Clam Chowder from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Quinoa Beet Kale Apple Walnut Goat Cheese Salad from Jeanette's Healthy Living
- Gado Gado - Indonesian Vegetable Salad from Spice Roots
- Buttermilk Herb Rolls from Stetted
- Gluten-Free Corn Muffins with Jalapeno and Cheese from The Heritage Cook
- Berry Soup Dessert Shooters from Miss in the Kitchen
If you're unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.
More delicious seafood chowders:
Manhattan Clam Chowder
Smoked Salmon Chowder
Can't get enough soup? You may be a SOUP ADDICT like me!
I am sharing this soup with Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen!