A creamy, delicious, and hearty Clam Chowder for any cold night or special occasion
Living in New England now, there is no other type of clam chowder than the soup that is rich and creamy with big chunks of potatoes and clams. I grew up in the tri-state area and always heard there's something called Manhattan clam chowder, but in my opinion, it's not nearly as good as the New England version. Sorry my fellow tri-staters!
You don't need many ingredients to make this delicious soup. 2 pieces of bacon, butter, celery, onions, potato, flour, heavy cream, broth, and bay leaves. Most of these things I have on hand all the time.
I often make this chowder on Christmas Eve as part of our "Feast of the Seven Fishes", an old Italian tradition to not have meat on Christmas Eve. Granted this has bacon it, but you get my point!
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 thick slices bacon
4 celery stalks chopped
1 medium onion chopped
4 Tablespoons flour
3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 medium Idaho potatoes (1.5 cups)
2 cans of chopped clams (juice reserved)
1 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Add the bacon to a Dutch oven. Cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy, about 10 minutes. Take the bacon out of the pot and put it on a plate lined with a paper towel. Lower the heat in the pot to medium low and add the butter. Let the butter melt and add the chopped celery and chopped onion. Cook until the onions are translucent, about another 10 minutes. Be sure to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Meanwhile, drain the canned clams, reserving the clam juice in a separate bowl. Once the celery and onions have cooked for a bit, add the flour and stir. Let that cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth, clam juice, potatoes, heavy cream, and bay leaves. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the soup has thickened and the potatoes are cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Crumble the cooked bacon on top and serve immediately.