This is another first for me. I have only had clam chowder once and it was in Michigan in 2001. It was more potatoes than clams and that was just fine with me because I was a little afraid of that smell of seafood way past its prime. I wanted a big bowl of potatoes and herbs with a cream base and a few clams thrown in just to justify the name. That is exactly what I got!
Fast forward 11 years and I wanted to try my hand and making a clam chowder that Ina Garten, who lives smack dab in the middle of “New England” proud. This time of year, I get crazy with the soups, stews, and chowders. We spend 9 months trying not to melt away so I like to take advantage of all the available chilly nights that are begging for a hot bowl of soup! This recipe was easy and used only 1 pot. I did make a couple of modifications from the original.
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1/2 cups of celery, diced
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth (check for GF!)
- 4 cups cubed potatoes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 (10 ounce) cans minced clams
- Place diced bacon in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Cook until almost crisp;
- Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook 10 minutes.
- Stir in broth and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
- Pour in half-and-half, and add butter. Drain clams, reserving clam liquid; stir clams and 1/2 of the clam liquid into the soup. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Do not allow to boil.