ClamChowder53

Soup Season is almost upon us and I am thrilled!  I think there is nothing better than those first few cool days in September when you can curl up on the couch with a blanket, good book, and a comforting bowl of soup.

For me, the soup I turn to when I want comfort food, is clam chowder.  It takes me back to my childhood and time spent with my dad.

I was inspired to make my own when I saw a bag of frozen clam meat at the grocery store.  I know some of you may balk at the idea of frozen meat here, but I must work on a budget, and honestly it tasted great.

Because I didn’t use fresh clams, I was lacking clam juice so I substituted fish stock instead, homemade in this case.  Other than that I tried to keep everything as traditional as possible.

Except for the bacon……there had to be bacon.

 

My New England Style Clam Chowder

Ingredients

1 lb bag frozen clam meat (uncooked)

1/2 pound bacon, chopped

1 medium white onion, diced

2 stalks of celery, finely diced

1 large Yukon gold potato, diced

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups fish stock (or 1 cup fresh clam juice + 1 cup water)

1-2 cups milk

2 sprigs fresh thyme

salt and pepper to taste.

In a large heavy bottom pot, brown the bacon.Once cooked, remove it from the pot and set aside. Drain some of the fat, but leave enough to sautee the veggies in.  Add the onion, celery and potato to the pot and cook on medium high heat until the onion and celery are softened.  Add the butter and stir until melted then add the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the stock a little at a time, still stirring constantly.  Once all the stock has been added it should have the consistency of a thick stew.  Reduce heat to medium and add the milk, use enough to get to the consistency you like.  You could even use cream if you were feeling especially indulgent, I won’t judge you.  Once you each your perfect consistency, add the clams and the bacon you had set aside, this is also the time to check your seasoning and add in any fresh herbs you like…I used thyme because that’s what I had on hand.  Cook just until the clams are cooked through, about 5 minutes, do not over cook the clams or they will taste like little rubber balls in your soup…not what we are going for.  Remove from heat and serve with oyster crackers or some slices of hearty crusty bread…honestly this soup is good enough to stand on its own.  Enjoy!