To save time and hassle, this recipe calls for canned clams. If possible, it’s better to buy whole clams instead of chopped clams. Serve this chowder with a loaf of crusty sourdough bread and a tossed green salad. For a special presentation, purchase small sourdough rounds, hollow them out, bake them opened for twenty minutes at 350 and ladle soup into sourdough “bowls.”
8 ounces bacon, fat removed as much as possible
2 Tbs. Butter
1 ½ yellow onions, chopped finely
¼ cup flour
24 ounces canned whole clams (4 tuna-sized cans)
¼ cup water
6 medium red potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes with peel
black pepper and salt to taste
4 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Cut bacon into ½ inch dice. Cook bacon in a deep soup pot over medium heat until crispy and slightly browned. Drain half the fat. Add butter and onions and sauté until onions are just starting to brown. Add flour, stirring constantly over low heat for 3-5 minutes. Drain the clam’s juices into the soup pot and add ¼ cup water. Add potatoes, salt and pepper. Simmer on medium until the potatoes are tender—about ten minutes. Add canned clams and stir through. Pour in milk and heavy cream. Stir over medium heat until soup is warmed through. (Do not boil, or the soup will separate.) Add parsley right before serving. Adjust salt and pepper. Serves six.
Conversation starter: Describe a time when you clammed up. Were you in front of an audience? A teacher? A parent? Why did you clam up?