Did you know that it’s National Clam Chowder Day? We are impressed if you did! To celebrate, Alison and I offer you two different recipes to try, depending on your cooking style, dietary demands and time.
This hearty version from lDd starts with a package of
Bear Creek Creamy Potato Soup Mix. Okay, the mix contains very processed ingredients, but the chowder is delish, a true crowd-pleaser. Its shelf-stable ingredients make is suitable to keep on hand. So for those of you who don’t mind a little semi-processed yum, or if you want to take a break from your whole food quest, this is the chowder for you.
- 2 1/4 cups Bear Creek Potato Soup Mix (one package)
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups clam juice
- 5-6 slices bacon, diced
- 1 medium sweet onion (Vidalia or Walla Walla), chopped medium
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups coarsely-ground razor clams
- 8 ounces whipping cream
- sprinkling of chopped parsley for garnish
- Cook soup according to package directions, using water and clam juice, about 20 minutes to a simmer.
- In a separate deep fry pan, fry the diced bacon and chopped onion together until bacon is almost crisp and onion translucent. Drain fat. Add clams and stir fry until just heated through, about 45-60 seconds. Add cooked soup to fry pan and stir. Add cream and heat to just a simmer.
- Serve in bowls and top with chopped parsley.
- Find the razor clams near the canned tuna.
For a gluten- and dairy-free alternative, I suggest this Paleo version of New England Clam Chowder. The best clam chowder I have ever eaten was on a chilly sunny summer day in Newport, Rhode Island. The Black Pearl‘s sublime stew-like rendition left a lasting memory. Since that tasty day, my goal has been to try to replicate this institution’s magic potion. While my Paleo attempt does not live up to that gustatory memory, this from-scratch version is surprisingly flavorful.
Besides the Virginia clams from the Chesapeake Bay, I didn’t tell my husband the main ingredients. Letting him know just how healthy it was would not have improved his enjoyment of this thick soup on a bitterly cold night. The key is an immersion blender.
- 24 Virginia Little Neck clams, uncooked
- 1/2 pound nitrate-free bacon, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 lbs turnips, cut into 2” pieces
- 1 lb cauliflower, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup bottled clam juice
- 1 t fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- coarse ground black pepper, to taste
- Scrub clams clean and add to a 3 quart saucepan. Cover with water to fill the pan halfway. Bring to a boil over medium heat. As the clams open, remove them to a new bowl. Set aside the clams and the pan of clam broth for later use.
- Add salt pork and onion to a 5 quart pot and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent and bacon begins to brown.
- Add turnips and cauliflower to the onion mixture along with the clam juice and thyme. Just cover the tops of the vegetables with the reserved clam broth, careful not to add any sediment from the bottom of the broth. If necessary, add water to complete the cover.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, chop the clams into bite-sized pieces.
- After 30 minutes, remove the pot from cooktop and, with an immersion blender, combine the ingredients into a thick soup.
- Stir in the coconut milk and the chopped clams until combined and reheat the chowder on low. Add fresh black pepper to taste.