Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mom's Clam Chowder

This is my very favorite clam chowder, the one mom made all the time. I like that it's not overly fishy and you can play with how "soupy" or chunky you want it. As it's written, it's thick enough for a bread bowl, but not overly chunky. If you want it "soupier,", just add a bit more half and half. If you want it thicker, increase the amount of vegetables. I made it last week for dinner group and was reminded of how much I love it and how easy it is to throw together. The boys also love this soup and request it often.

Note: I experimented a little last time I made this and used bottled clam juice in place of the water for my vegetables. I couldn't tell a huge difference, although it's been a while since I made this. I'm not sure if it's worth the extra money (that clam juice is expensive!). You may consider just adding another can of clams to get a bit more clam juice in the soup.

2-3 6 1/2 oz. cans minced clams (drained, rinsed, with clam juice reserved)
2 8 oz. bottles clam juice (optional)
1 c. finely chopped onions
1 c. finely chopped celery
2 c. finely chopped potatoes
3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. flour
1 qt. half & half
1 1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
pepper, to taste

1. In a large pot, place your chopped vegetables, reserved clam juice, bottled clam juice and clams. Add enough water to barely cover your vegetables. Bring to a boil, simmering until veggies are tender.

2. While vegetables are cooking, prepare your white sauce. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour, making a roux with a whire whisk. Constantly stirring, slowly whisk in the half and half and sugar. Cook and stir constantly, until smooth and thick.

3. Once your roux is slightly thickened and your vegetables are tender, slowly whisk the cream mixture into your vegetables.

4. Add red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm for up to hour, but don't allow it to boil.

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