Here’s a recipe for hearty clam chowder made with clams, chicken stock, potatoes, onions, and fresh milk. Enjoy with buttered cornbread on a cold day.
Do you associate certain food with places you’ve been to? I do. I remember what I ate on trips I took years ago. I’m not quite as good at this as my dad is, but someday I aspire to be.
I remember that we ate powdered sugar donuts and milk after visiting the Sault Sainte Marie locks in 1999.
I remember that our first meal in Costa Rica was chicken soup from a packet, and orange Zuko, also from a packet.
I remember eating crepes and drinking a lemonade with grenadine outside of St. Pierre Cathedral in Geneva on my senior trip with Mom and Dad.
Food is memories. The more memorable or special the trip, the more I remember what we ate. I think I could recount–in order, even–every morsel I ate on our honeymoon in Boston.
I had real New England clam chowder at The Oyster House a few blocks from Paul Revere’s house. Memories.
Over Christmas, I mulled over the memories while I made clam chowder for my family. I think it turned out pretty well. If you live in New England, I trust you’ll make this with fresh clams. If you don’t, make it with canned clams (like I did) and dream of your next memorable trip to Boston (as I do).
Hearty Clam Chowder
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 4 large potatoes scrubbed and chopped
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp herbs of choice parsley, oregano, or thyme are good
- 3 10- oz cans of clams
- 1 8- oz bottle of clam juice
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- 1/3 cup frozen corn
- salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
- 8 slices cooked bacon optional
Melt the butter in a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes.
Add potatoes, stock, and herbs to the pot. Turn up the heat until the liquid nearly boils, then turn down to a lively simmer. Cover and let simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 20-25 minutes.
If you plan to serve the soup with bacon, cook the bacon now while the potatoes soften.
When the potatoes are soft, add clams (with their liquid), clam juice, milk, cream, and corn. Heat through.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crumbled bacon, if desired.
For a thicker soup: After Step 4, dip out 1 cup of soup liquid and mix with 2 Tbsp flour in a small bowl. Stir flour mixture back into soup. Turn up heat and let soup bubble for a few minutes until it begins to thicken.