Hey All! So the weather in LA has been kind of funky lately. We keep getting a weird blend of chilly and warm weather. Seriously, one day I’m out in a spring dress with sandals trying to get a tan while I run errands and the next I’m bundled in a sweater, scarf and boots. It’s weird and kind of annoying. Plus, it’s making me get sick….or was it because I was up in Carmel this weekend, running around the beach in 50 degree weather without a jacket or close toed shoes…hmm…but I digress.
Anyway, I came back to chilly LA weather and now I have a stuffy nose, cough, blah blah blah… This really only means one thing….time for New England Clam Chowder. Yes! Not to mention, after having plenty of chowder up North the past few days, I’ve realized that I have yet to make even a single batch of one of my all time favorite soups/chowders this year! This is my favorite way to make clam chowder. I cut out the usual celery and added some leeks and corn…only because, well…I love leeks and corn, that’s all :). This is also quite a simple recipe…not very much fuss beyond cutting up some veg! Enjoy!
New England Clam Chowder
Serves 5 to 7
3 rashers bacon, chopped
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 leek, cleaned and (the white part only) thinly sliced
1 corn on the cob, kernels and milk removed from cob
1 ½ tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
2 cups new potatoes, diced
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups clam juice (or fish stock or vegetable broth)
2 ½ cups little neck clams
1 – 1 ½ cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
sourdough bread bowls
1. Place a large pot over medium heat and brown bacon, about 5 minutes. Drain all but 2 tablespoons grease and melt butter.
2. Add onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Add leek and corn and continue to sauté for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Once onions and leeks have sweat and are translucent, add thyme and potatoes and stir.
4. Sprinkle flour over vegetable mixture and stir well to create a thick roux (make sure all of the flour pockets have been stirred out), about 2 minutes. Continue to stir and cook for an additional minute to allow the “flour taste” to disappear.
5. While whisking, pour clam juice into the mixture in a steady stream until fully incorporated and no lumps remain. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens (add ¼ to ½ more clam juice if the mixture becomes to thick while simmering)
6. Gently fold in clams and slowly stir in milk (begin with 1 cup and add extra ½ cup at end, if needed).
7. Allow mixture to simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Adjust seasonings and serve hot (in hollowed out sourdough bread bowls, if desired).