I was in the mood for clam chowder but didn’t want a heavy cream-based soup. I decided to give Manhattan clam chowder a try. I adapted a tasty recipe in my newest library find, “Food Networks Kitchen Cookbook”. The chowder turned out spicy and full of great flavors. My husband and I really, really enjoyed it but it was a tad too spicy for the kids. Next time I make this, I will try to use fresh clams instead of canned clams. It was extremely quick and easy to make and was the perfect soup for a cold rainy day. I served our chowder with a loaf of fresh-baked bread.
Manhattan Clam Chowder:
- 2 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp
- 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- 1-2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, blended with an immersion blender
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1-2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 6-7 red baby potatoes, diced into bite-sized chunks
- 2 6.5 oz cans of clams and the juice
Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Once crispy, remove from pan and place on a paper towel to drain the fat. Once cooled, crumble the bacon.
Remove all but 2 tsp of bacon grease from the Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the Dutch oven and sauté for 6-7 minutes or until soft and tender. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 60 seconds.
Pour the two cans of diced tomatoes into a large bowl and blend thoroughly with an immersion blender (or use a regular blender). Add the tomatoes and chicken broth to the Dutch oven. Add the seasonings and remainder of ingredients (except for the clams and parsley) to the pot. Simmer on medium-low for 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender.
Once you are ready to serve, add the clams and their juices to the pot along with the fresh parsley and bacon crumbles, let simmer for 3-5 minutes then serve. Enjoy.