New England Clam Chowder
Nothing is more soothing and satisfying than a delicious bowl of New England Clam Chowder on a cold wintery day. Serve with saltine crackers or small, hexagonal oyster crackers, or some nice crusty bread for sopping up that lovely sauce. New England Clam Chowder is the best recipe to cozy up with any time of the year, but especially, in the winter months with a roaring fire.
- 3 pounds littleneck clams, about 30, scrubbed
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 cups half-and-half
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- chopped fresh chives, for topping, optional, to taste
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 80mins
Rinse the clams several times under cold running water. Transfer to a large pot and add 3 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then cover and cook until the clams open, about 6 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; reserve the broth. Transfer the clams to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap so they don't dry out.
Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Melt the butter in the same pot over medium heat. Add the celery, onion, and thyme, then cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring for about 1 minute. Stir in the reserved clam broth, 1 1/2 cups water, and the potato. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potato is tender and the soup thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the clams from their shells and roughly chop.
Reduce the heat under the soup to medium-low. Whisk in the half-and-half and warm through, do not boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the chopped clams; season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the reserved bacon and chives.
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