There are two well-known kinds of clam chowder; New England Clam Chowder, and Manhattan Clam Chowder. As I’ve written about here, the New England style is creamy, thick and white with lots of clams and potatoes. The Manhattan style chowder is made with a tomato broth and contains tomatoes, usually bacon, onions, clams and potatoes. It’s a matter of taste and preference which one you like best.
In my past experiences with chowder, New England style was homemade, but Manhattan always came out of a can, and I didn’t like it. That changed several years ago when I happened on this recipe for a homemade version, that Mr. D. and I think is fabulous. It’s a much lighter soup, still warming on a cold day, but fewer calories to drag you down. Try this with some savory scones or biscuits to go with it. I think you’ll be glad you did.
FIRE-ROASTED MANHATTAN CLAM CHOWDER
Yield: Makes 4 – 6 servings
- 6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery with leafy greens, stalks and leaves finely chopped separately
- 1 large, or 3 smallish baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
- One 28-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- One 14,5 – ounce can chicken broth
- Two 8-ounce cans chopped clams with their juice
- salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large saucepan or skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the fat renders, about 6 minutes. Discard the fat, and place the cooked bacon in a soup kettle.
2. Add the olive oil to the saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped celery and onion and cook stirring, until softened. Add in the minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add this to the soup kettle.
3. To the contents of the soup kettle add the potato, the tomatoes and their juice and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potato is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Stir in the clams with their liquid and cook to warm through. Stir in the chopped celery leaves and season with salt and pepper. Taste before adding salt as the tomatoes likely have salt in them as well as the clams and chicken broth. Most times I do not add any salt, just a little black pepper.
SOURCE: Cooking Light