December 31, 2011

Clam Chowder

Yield: 6-8 servings

  • 4 oz bacon, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 medium red potatoes, diced in 1/2 inch cubes (I don't peel mine but you can if you want)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cellery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 to 2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp cellery seed
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seed
  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 oz cream cheese or neufchatel cheese (I used neuf)
  • 1 10 oz can of clams, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 6 oz can wild salmon, drained (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Steam or boil diced potatoes until just al dente and set aside (this can be done several hours ahead of time and the cooked potatoes kept in the fridge till you are ready). Saute bacon in a 8-quart soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat until just crispy. Remove bacon and set aside, leaving rendered drippings in pan. Add rice flour and stir until flour dissolves in bacon drippings, about 1 minute. This will be the roux, the thickener for the soup. Transfer roux to a separage bowl and set aside (I just put it in with the reserved bacon).
Return pot to medium heat and add oil. Saute onion, carrot, cellery and bell pepper until they begin to soften. Add cellery seed, thyme, fennel, salt and garlic and continut to saute for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add clam juice and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and add roux and bacon, stirring to prevent clumping. Add milk and potatoes and raise heat to medium. Stir often till soup just comes to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low. Be careful not to let the soup boil or the milk will curdle. Ladle about a cup of liquid from the pot into a bowl and add the cream cheese. Mix the milk and cream cheese till well combined and return mixture to soup pot. Let the soup cook on medium low heat for about an hour, stirring often to keep milk from scorching. Add clams, corn, and salmon and cook for 10 minutes longer. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with Bacon, Cheddar and Scallion Cornbread Biscuits. Enjoy!

More to come with Love!

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