Clam Chowder (2008)
Total Time: 40
Yield: 6 servingsIn January 2008, our food story featured hearty soups--a must on everyone's comfort-food roster. We couldn't do a New England soup story without chowder, of course, so I crafted one that includes the traditional elements--clams, bacon, potatoes, and cream--without turning into a glunky mess.
Ingredients:7 pounds cherrystone clams, scrubbed and rinsed
3 cups water
4 strips bacon, finely chopped
1 medium Spanish onion, diced small
2 tablespoons flour
3 large red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup heavy cream
In a large soup pot over high heat, add clams to 3 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook just until clams open, about 10 minutes. Remove clams from broth and set aside. (Discard any clams that don't open.) Strain broth through a sieve lined with a coffee filter, and set aside.
Clean your soup pot; then over medium-high heat, saute bacon until it's browned and fat is rendered. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel. Discard all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Add diced onion to the pot and saute until translucent.
Stir in flour and cook 1 minute, being careful not to brown. Whisk in reserved clam broth. Add potatoes and thyme, and simmer 10 minutes.
Remove clams from shells, reserving liquid, and chop meat roughly. Strain liquid; then add clams and liquid to the soup pot. Stir in parsley and cream; chop bacon and add. Cook just long enough to heat clams through, about 3 minutes.