I think it’s safe to say that Fall has definitely arrived here in the Northeast, and I’m loving it. The weather is cool and crisp, but not chilly enough that you’re rushing indoors to get warm. Perfect weather for soup – I love Soup Season, and this time, we’re celebrating it with a New England Clam Chowder. I like this version as I think it has a nice balance between thin, but not too thin, and thick, but not so much so. It’s hearty enough to make a meal of it, but without leaving you feeling overstuffed. I topped it with crumbled, crispy bacon and a bit of freshly grated cheese. Yum – good to the last spoonful.
New England Clam Chowder
Recipe courtesy of Cate O’Malley
4 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, undrained
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
6 bacon slices
extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-1/2 cups cubed red potato, skins on (that’s where all the vitamins are!)
3-4 medium carrots, diced in small pieces
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (don’t worry, dried works fine too)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup milk
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
Drain clams through a colander into a bowl, reserving liquid and clams. Combine clam liquid and clam juice. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and saute onion, carrot and garlic in pan for 7-8 minutes or until tender. Add clam juice mixture, potato, and ingredients through bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender.
Combine milk, heavy cream and flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth; add to pan. Stir in clams and bacon, reserving a little bit for topping. Cook 5 minutes to heat clams through. Discard bay leaf. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bacon.
Yield: 8 servings