My dictionary defines chowder as “a rich soup typically containing fish, clams, or corn with potatoes and onions.” Although chowders can be white (with milk or cream), red (with tomato sauce) or clear, probably the most well know is the clam chowder.
This clam chowder is so rich and substantial that it can be a meal by itself. It’s filling, trust me — see all those cubes of potatoes? It’s very tasty — if you’ve never tried combining clams and bacon in a soup, it’s time to do so because the result is simply stupendous.
- 1 kilograms fresh clams (soaked in the fridge for several hours in several changes of water, then rinsed and drained)
- 1 large onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 250 grams belly bacon (NOT honey-cured, please!), cut into small pieces
- 500 grams floury potatoes (i.e., not waxy), peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 and 1/2 cups milk or cream or a combination of milk and cream
- finely sliced spring onions and torn flat-leaf parsley for garnish
- Melt 2 tbsps. of butter in a pot. Add the bacon and cook until the color changes. Add the onion, lower the heat and let the onion sweat and starts to turn transparent.
- Add the potatoes. Pour in about eight cups of water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for ten to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are almost done.
- While the soup simmers, melt the remaining butter in a small pan. Add the flour all at once and stir to make a roux. Cook the mixture for about five minutes, stirring often. Take about a cup of the broth from the other pot and pour into the roux in a thin stream, stirring as you pour, until the mixture thickens.
- Meanwhile, when the potatoes are done, add the roux little by little to the pot, stirring gently as you pour, to thicken the soup. Turn up the heat then add the clams and cook until the clams open. Pour in the milk or cream, stir, adjust the seasonings, allow to reach simmering point then turn off the heat. Your clam chowder is ready.
- Garnish the clam chowder with onion leaves and parsley then serve with buttered bread.