Clam chowder is a classic comfort food. It’s warm, creamy, and nourishing. It is also one of those high calorie, time consuming dishes to make and I believe it doesn’t have to be. I developed this recipe one weeknight not too long ago as we were running out the door to be somewhere. It came together so quickly and had such good flavor that I added it to the list of standard recipes that I use.
The hubs loves this soup because it is more of a soup than a chowder. According to Wikipedia: “Chowder is a generic name for a wide variety of seafood and/or vegetable stews and thickened soups, often with milk- and/or cream.” The key word in this sentence is thickened. One of the time savers of this dish is that I don’t thicken the soup, there is no roux, no flour, no thickening agent at all. This was not originally on purpose, but as I said above, we were running out the door and I added the broth in a hurry, and completely forgot that I had not added any flour to the mirepoix! So in fact, it is just soup, but it is still creamy and still crazy delicious and I am still calling it a chowder…because clam soup just doesn’t have the same enticing ring to it!
Clam Chowder. Makes four bowls.
1 large potato (or two medium), diced (something with a firm flesh, like a caribe or Yukon gold)
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 t kosher or sea salt
1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper
1 t dried thyme
32 oz chicken stock
12 oz frozen, cooked clams (I used short neck as they are small and I did not have to chop them)
1 C milk
In a large stock pot sauté potatoes, celery and onions in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, pepper and thyme and sauté 1-2 minutes longer, until garlic is fragrant. Add stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are completely tender. Add clams and milk and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, just to heat everything through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.