In the city, we have a restaurant that serves an excellent clam chowder.
At what point I finally saw the ‘clam chowder light’ if you will, I don’t know. But, once I embraced it ~ I am now officially a perfect-clam-chowder-hunting-queen.
Every restaurant I go to that has clam chowder – I’m ordering it, to see if it tops this recipe. So far, none of them have.
Given that this restaurant is smack dab in the middle of the city (can you say traffic?), I knew I had to come up with a way to recreate it at home and avoid all the chaos that is downtown.
I’m not gonna lie. This clam chowder is decadent. Rich, creamy and luxurious on your tongue. There is also a boat-load of clams! I use a combination of fancy baby clams, chopped and minced clams to provide a collection of flavors and texture in every bite.
For the perfect compliment to this hearty soup, serve it with the toasted bread crisps following the Clam Chowder recipe. The sea salt and cracked black pepper make the perfect scoop for sopping up all these delicious and complex flavors!
- 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 and ⅛ cups chopped roma tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 and ½ teaspoons black pepper
- 1 and ½ teaspoons thyme
- ½ teaspoon tarragon
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ to ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup clam base (or substitute seafood or chicken base)
- 1½ cups low fat milk
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup unpeeled potatoes, chopped, about ½ pound
- 43 to 45 ounces clams, canned with juice (see note)
- 2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- chives, optional (for garnish)
- Cook all bacon, drain, then crumble and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Set aside 2 slices of bacon to garnish and top each bowl of soup. Set aside the other 4 slices of bacon.
- Add bacon grease to a large stock pot and heat on medium-high heat until hot.
- Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions, black pepper, thyme, tarragon and bay leaf. Heat on medium-high until carrots are tender, about 8 minutes more.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour (to make a roux) and heat until almost golden, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Add butter/flour mix to stock pot.
- Slowly stir in clam base, milk and heavy whipping cream, making sure there are no lumps. Add potatoes and clams with juice and simmer on medium to medium-low heat until potatoes are soft, about 25 minutes.
Serve up these simple, yet delicious bread crisp rounds that go perfectly with this flavorful clam chowder!
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- sea salt
- cracked black pepper
- artisan bread, sliced into rounds
- Slice artisan bread into ½” rounds and place on a cookie sheet.
- Melt butter in the microwave, or in a saucepan. Using a pastry brush, brush melted butter on each side of the bread.
- Sprinkle each slice with sea salt, cracked black pepper and thyme on one side.
- Place under the broiler until bubbly and golden brown. Turn bread over and and broil the other side.
- Remove and serve!