Friday, January 14, 2011

Manhattan Clam Chowder

In case you can't tell, I love soups and stews in the winter.  My mom made Manhattan Clam Chowder when I was young, and I loved it.  This is a tomato rather than cream based soup, which makes it more appealing to me.  I love the way the flavors and spices come together.  I used parts of the recipe from my mom's Eat at Joe's cookbook and some parts of the recipe from Epicurious.  My mom's recipe was a bit too involved, and the Epicurious one was meant for a single serving and I felt it was missing a few ingredients.  I could not find fresh clams in Minnesota.  If you are hesitant about canned clams, just skip them.  The flavor of the soup will still be great! This soup should make about four servings.

4 slices of bacon, chopped
2/3 of a yellow onion
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 potatoes chopped into eights (yellow or a baking potato)
1/2 a green bell pepper, chopped
(2) 8 oz bottles of clam juice (you can find it by the canned tuna at the grocery store)

(2) 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
2 tsp fresh thyme
1/3 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of tomato paste(2) jars of 6.5 oz canned clams (If you can get fresh, about 3/4 pound, shelled and chopped), drained
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley

1) Brown the bacon with the onions and celery.  When it is brown, add the carrots, potatoes, the thyme, the canned tomatoes, the clam juice, ketchup and tomato paste.  Stir well and let this mixture simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the carrots are soft.
2) Add the green pepper and the claims and let simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to your liking and garnish with fresh parsley.

* I was feeling frugal and used the juice the clams were in in place of one jar of the clam juice.
* If you want to half, double or triple this recipe, the most important proportion is between the clam juice and canned tomatoes.  For every bottle of clam juice, you should add one can of tomatoes.  Make it more or less tomatoey with more or less ketchup and tomato paste.
*Skip the bacon and use EVOO if you are a pescatarian.

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