Manhattan Clam Chowder
You love this soup whenever you order it at a restaurant. Now, learn how to make it just as good at home.
– Recipe from Book of Soups: More than 100 Recipes for Perfect Soups (Culinary Institute of America), edited by Mary Donovan and Jennifer Armentrout, written by the staff of the Culinary Institute of America
This is the classic mid-Atlantic clam chowder, not to be confused with New England’s version. So controversial was the inclusion of tomatoes to New England clam chowder that a piece of legislation attempting to ban tomatoes from any true chowder was once introduced in Maine.
Fresh clams will, of course, make the best chowder, but if you wish, you can substitute 3/4 cup canned clam meat and 3/4 cup bottled clam juice for the fresh clams and juices.
Makes 8 servings
2 slices bacon, minced
2 1/2 cups diced leeks (white and light green parts)
1 1/4 cups diced onion
1/3 cup diced carrot
1/3 cup diced celery
1 cup diced red bell pepper (seeds and ribs removed)
1 tsp minced garlic
2 canned plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 cups diced yellow or white potatoes (peeled)
3 cups bottled clam juice
1 cup tomato juice
1 bay leaf
Pinch dried thyme
3 dozen chowder clams, shucked, juices reserved
Salt as needed
Freshly ground black pepper as needed
Tabasco sauce as needed
1. Cook the bacon in a soup pot over medium heat until crisp and browned, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the leeks, onion, carrot, celery, pepper, and garlic. Cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, clam juice, tomato juice, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the clams with their juices and simmer until the clams are cooked, about 5 to 10 minutes more.
4. Using a shallow, flat spoon, remove any fat from the surface of the chowder and discard. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Serve in heated bowls.