Potatoes were pureed to give the clam chowder a velvety texture — smooth and thick and butter-rich. And since the pureed potatoes considerably thickened the soup already, there was no need to add cream.
In addition to those three, there’s a spicy clam chowder in Florida the key ingredient of which is the datil chili. There are versions that originated in New Jersey, Rhode Island and North Carolina.
In short, there is no universal recipe for clam chowder (and that’s true for any recipe).
For our home version, I kept it simple. Shucked clams from the grocery, potatoes, clam broth, salt, pepper and thyme.
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter depending on how large your onion is
- 1 white or yellow onion chopped
- 200 grams potatoes cut into one-inch cubes
- 2 to 3 cups broth preferably clam broth
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme optional but recommended
- 1 cup shucked clams
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Heat the butter in a pan.
- Add the chopped onion and cook gently over medium heat until translucent.Add the potatoes and thyme, if using.
- Pour in the broth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Pour the contents of the pan into the blender and process until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pan. Or use an immersion blander so you don’t have to move the contents of the pan back and forth.
- When the potatoes are smooth, bring to the boil.
- Add the clams. Cook for a minute. Add more salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve the clam chowder immediately.