liz digs life

New England Clam Chowder

It’s soup season! Today I am sharing my recipe for New England Clam Chowder. I enjoy making this in the winter when things get chilly…it’s comfort food at its best. It also makes great leftovers. 

I am asked for this recipe by everyone and thought it might be a nice way to kick off the food category here. Easy to make and super delicious.

New England Clam Chowder

Serves 8-10

8 slices of bacon, chopped
2 tbsp. butter
3 celery ribs, diced
1 bunch of green onions, diced
1 large white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium russet potatoes, diced
2 14.5 oz cans chicken broth
1 8 oz bottle of clam juice
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. Thyme
⅓ cup flour
1 pint of half and half
4 6.5 oz cans of chopped, canned clams (drained)
1 bay leaf

This soup is easy to make, but I must stress – it is important to chop ALL the veggies and ingredients prior to making the soup. Prep time in important here. You will not have time between the steps to chop anything. I am telling you this because I made that mistake. 

Dice potatoes into 1/2 cubes

I chop the potatoes into ½ inch cubes and the celery ribs in half lengthwise before I chop them. Recipe calls for one large white onion, but here I used two smaller ones because I grew them and this is as big as they got this year! 

Prep time is key to this soup

Start cooking the bacon in a dutch oven or large pot. Once browned, remove bacon and set aside. Keep the grease in the pan.

Brown the bacon right in the pot, remove and leave the grease in the pot

Now here is my favorite part… add 2 tbs. of butter directly into the bacon grease. If you have never added butter to bacon grease for anything, get ready to live. The smell is amazing. Who doesn’t love a recipe that starts with adding fat to fat?! Do not be scared off…

yup. butter in bacon grease. mmmmmmmm….

Stir the butter into the grease and add the onions and celery. Saute on medium until they soften and onion is clear. Stir the brown bits on the bottom of the pan into the veggies.

add onion and celery to buttery, bacony amazingness

Add green onion and garlic and saute one minute. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Stir in. Add clam juice and chicken broth. Add potatoes. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes. 

add green onions and garlic, then spices

In a small bowl combine the flour and ½ of the half and half. Whisk until smooth and add to the soup. Bring to a boil and boil 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat and add remaining half and half, clams and bay leaf. Simmer on medium low 5-10 minutes. 

Remove from heat and remove bay leaf. Stir the bacon bits in. 

Dish out servings you will be using immediately and pour remaining soup from the pot into a large glass bowl or other container. Do not leave it sitting in the pot. I am sharing this because I left it in the pot while we ate it the first time and made this mistake. If you use a cast iron dutch oven like me the pot will continue to cook the soup even if off the stove. The heat will continue to radiate, the potatoes will sink and it will stick. And you will be sad. I was. 

And that’s it! Yuuuum. I like to serve it with warm bread and oyster crackers. It’s stick to your ribs good. 


5 responses to “New England Clam Chowder”

  1. This was Leo’s favorite soup, as his health failed it did not fit his diet. I changed it to fit his diet by cooking the bacon in the George Forman grill to drain the fat, cooking the vegetables in homemade no sodium chicken broth, and using skim milk instead of 1/2 and 1/2. I added Molly Mcbutter for butter flavor and thickening with cornstarch and skim milk slurry. He said it tasted just like the real thing and would ask me to make it often. I bought the large can of clams from Bj’s and make a large batch.

  2. Looking forward to making your New England Clam Chowder recipe. Love your detailed instructions, step by step pictorial AND your personal insights on avoiding disappointments.

  3. Thanks for sharing your recipe with all the extra hints to make it easier for others to make without having to go through all the trial and error process that goes with trying a new recipe. Love this chowder!

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