Ever get into the mood for something that isn’t normally on the menu. Growing up in the Midwest has deprived me of one of the tastiest soups one can have. New England Clam Chowder is a soup that is tasty in both summer and winter weather and is a good alternative to chili. The following is a recipe that I make for my family and they absolutely love it, even though most of them hate seafood.
- 1 tsp. of clam base
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. old bay seasoning
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 3 cups of half and half cream
- 4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 (10 ounce) cans minced clams
- In a large pot, cook off bacon with butter until crisp, add onions and celery and sweat them in with the bacon until onions start to be translucent. Open both cans of clams and strain the juice from both cans into the mixture along with the bay leaves, old bay seasoning, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and cook until tender in the clam juice.
- When potatoes are almost done, add the clam base and mix well. Pour in half-and-half; add clams and cook for about 5 minutes or until heated through. Do not allow to boil, and stir occasionally. This makes roughly 8 servings and my family loves this recipe.
Here is a variation of the recipe that I do during football season. In a side pan, make a roux out of 2 tablespoons of butter and flour sparingly once the butter has melted. Keep adding flour until you have a nice brown, gritty texture to the roux. Now follow the recipe above but leave out the creamer all together and instead bring the chowder to a boil with the rest of the ingredients added and add the roux. Continue to stir and bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Once the chowder is really thick, remove from heat and treat it as an alternative for a chip dip. It is really good.