clam chowder

Clam chowder

Now we just need a sourdough bread bowl



We recently hosted another birthday dinner at our house. This time, the guests of honor were another two friends from our wedding party: Karen and Daniel, both October babies. Daniel requested comfort food, and Karen toasted to that. October is also a good time to start cooking up that comfort food–as I mentioned in my previous broccoli cheddar soup post, we start craving comfort foods as the weather cools.

I never truly enjoyed clam chowder until seven years ago during a trip to San Francisco. Being that it was my first time to the Bay area, I had to do all the touristy things, including a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf where I ordered the notorious Boudin clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. I sat on a bench at the Wharf on a chilly November afternoon and enjoyed my little precious bowl of touristy goodness. (I don’t particularly like sourdough, however, because it has that fermented taste that errs it on the side of almost rotten, but how could I not possess the “when in Rome” attitude? I’m such a poser.) Now I need to make a trip to New England and try some of their clam chowder, and I’ll have to do it in a Patriots jersey.

Anyway, here is the way to recapture that moment, the first of what was again a three course meal. Remember, if the Blind can Cook it, you can definitely cook it.


Recipe: Clam Chowder

Summary: Original recipe from All Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 3 unpeeled potatoes, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 (13 oz.) can chopped clams with juice
  • 1/2 qt. half & half
  • 1 (1.8 oz.) pkg. dry leeksoup mix

Instructions

  1. Place in a large pot, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until crisp and browned, about 10 min. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in the pot. Set bacon aside.
  2. Stir the potatoes, celery, and carrots into the bacon fat. Season with salt & pepper. Cook for 5 min., stirring frequently.
  3. Pour the juice from the clams into the pot. Add just enough water to cover ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for another 10 to 15 min., or until potatoes are just tender.
  4. Gently stir in the leek soup mix until no lumps remain. Stir in the clams, reserved bacon, and half & half cream. Cook and stir until chowder returns to a simmer and thickens, about 10 min. more.

Quick Notes

If the soup is still too runny, try running some of the potatoes a batch at a time through a blender or food processor. This mashes up the potatoes into a creamy texture. Add the potatoes back into the soup, and it should thicken. We had to do this to fix our runny soup problem.

Variations

Because I could not find dry leek soup mix anywhere, I tried to come up with my own concoction: some chopped scallion, cream of celery, some minced onion, chicken bouillonn, etc. Or you can substitute with onion soup mix (although I couldn’t find this either). C’mon, people! I tried the Heights Kroger, two HEBs, and even Central Market. Get with the 21st century, stores.

I think next time, if the stores still refuse to stock leek soup mix, I might try substituting it with condensed cream of potato and cream of celery soups.

Cooking time (duration): 45

Diet type: Pescatarian

Meal type: dinner

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)

Microformatting by hRecipe.

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