I’m pretty proud of this recipe. It was snowing all day yesterday so I decided to try and make one of my favorite soups. My fella is from New England, and we met when we were both living in Boston- so naturally we’re both pretty big fans of clam chowder. I looked through dozens of different recipes and modified parts from each of them. I use leeks instead of the more traditional onion, and I add more herbs than the purist recipes include- but other than that, this is a classic New England clam chowder. It’s fragrant and creamy and warm- perfect for a cold day at home. If you want to amp up the clam flavor even more, you could substitute the water (used for cooking the potatoes and carrots) for a couple of bottles of clam juice.
Ingredients ($12.50 recipe/$1.56 serving- Recipe makes 8 servings)
3 (6.5 oz.) cans chopped clams (in clam juice) ($6.87)
3 celery stalks ($0.12)
1 leek ($0.43)
1 large carrot ($0.82)
2 Idaho potatoes ($0.28)
1 tsp. garlic powder ($0.03)
2 tsp. oregano ($0.06)
1 tsp. onion powder ($0.03)
1 pinch white pepper ($0.03)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. dill ($0.03)
3/4 cup butter ($0.75)
3/4 cup flour ($0.06)
1 quart fat free half & half ($2.99)
Step by Step
1. Slice celery, peel and cube potatoes, peel and dice carrot, and chop your leeks. I only use the white part of the leek, I slice it by first quartering it, and then slicing across the quartered sections so that you end up with small, fairly fine pieces.
2. Combine all the vegetables prepped above in a deep saucepan- add in garlic powder, oregano, and dill. Cover with the juice from the canned clams (set clams aside for now). Finish covering the vegetables completely with either water (that’s what I used) or an additional jar of clam juice.
3. Cook vegetables over medium heat until they are tender. When the vegetables are nearly done, turn the heat off and begin cooking the other part of the chowder in a heavy bottomed soup pot.
4. In heavy bottomed soup pot, melt your butter over medium heat, whisk in the flour until mixture is smooth. Whisk in cream while stirring, the stock should be smooth and thick. Now stir in the vegetables and clam juice- combine the two mixtures well and make sure it is heated evenly. Add in the onion powder and white pepper. Once this is done and the soup is evenly heated, mix in the clams- keep over low heat for about 5 minutes and then take off the heat and serve.
This is lovely with a nice chunk of garlic bread, we add our own salt to our individual servings- but you could also salt the entire chowder if you prefer.