Perfectly Creamy Clam Chowder. If clam chowder is ever on the menu in a restaurant we go to, you can bet the hubs will order it. The chowder is without a doubt his favorite soup.
My Version Of Clam Chowder
There are a million recipes for clam chowder, but let me tell you what I think makes mine the best.
- Lots of bacon, don't skimp here.
- Plenty of clams and clam juice. You want it to taste like clams, right?
- A touch of spice. Not a lot, but enough you know it is there!
The combo of these 3 things, plus everything else, of course, makes this chowder so good.
Making The Chowder
So, let's get started. Render your bacon. Not only does the bacon give the chowder a lot of flavors, but so does the fat it releases.
I like to cook my bacon pretty crispy, as I not only cook it in the chowder, but top with it as well.
Add in your onions and celery and saute for about 5 minutes. Depending on how much fat was in your bacon, you may need to add in a touch more oil. You want this to saute, but also for the roux.
Not sure what a roux is? Let me explain. It is a mix of fat and flour you cook together. It will add flavor to your dish, but also thicken it as well. You will add the flour right on top of the vegetables and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes. This will cook the flour flavor out. Make sure and mix consistently, it will try and burn on you if you aren't careful.
Next up is your clam juice, stock, and spices. Don't add the clams just yet, you only need to heat those, so wait until the end. We like everything just a little spicy, so I used a great spicy salt from the Spice House, which is called Vulcan's Fire. Let me tell you, if you are looking for a great, spicy salt, this is it! perfect for popcorn too:).
Also, add in your potatoes. You can use any kind you prefer, but let me tell you, yellow potatoes are a personal favorite. They are so creamy and delicious in soups! Let everything cook together, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are cooked and the chowder is thickened.
Last step, add in the half and half, bacon, and clams. Let this cook for just a minute or 2, then turn off the heat.
The Finished Perfectly Creamy Clam Chowder
Top with a little chopped parsley, if you want. Oyster crackers are a must, as is the remaining bacon.
The creaminess of the soup is such a great backdrop to the clams, potatoes, and that little kick of spice!
Are you looking for a great carb to go with this chowder? Let me suggest a few:
- Parker House Rolls are always a crowd-pleaser in this house.
- These Herb and Parmesan Rolls are also really, really good!
- The Rosemary Gruyere Pull apart rolls are really good too!
- This Multigrain Bread can also easily be made into rolls as well.
Perfectly Creamy Clam Chowder
- 1 ½ cup chopped bacon, raw This was about 10 strips for me. It will depend on the thickness of your bacon.
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 ½ cup chopped celery
- ¼ cup butter or oil I used a canola oil, but you can use what you prefer
- ¾ cup flour
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 8 ounce bottle clam juice
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme I used fresh, but you don't have it, use ¾ teaspoon dry
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups yellow potatoes cut in 1-inch chunks. I like this chowder rustic, so I cut larger chunks.
- ¾ teaspoon vulcan's salt If you don't have this, you can use ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt you may need more later, but it will depend on how salty your stock is.
- 1 pint half and half
- 2 6.5 ounce cans of clams
- Heat your pan over medium heat, then add the bacon. Cook the bacon until it is crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon into a bowl and set aside. Add your onion, celery, and oil or butter. Continue to cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top and continue to cook, stirring consistently, for about 3 minutes. Next add in your stock, clam juice, bay leaves, thyme, black pepper, vulcan's salt, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and potatoes. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to make sure it isn't sticking to the bottom. Once the potatoes are tender, add in the clams and half and half. Check for salt, add more as needed. That is it! Serve with your favorite roll, bread, or cracker. Or, if you prefer, serve it just like it is!Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!