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Manhattan Clam Chowder

Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 to 8 as a first course

Manhattan clam chowder, unlike its New England cousin, is a tomato-based soup. This recipe is quick, easy, healthy and delicious, whether served as a first course or as a main dish with crusty bread to sop up some of the broth. Canned clams are a convenience food that works very well in recipes like this soup. However, if preferred, fresh clams can be substituted. Steam them just until they open, remove from the shells reserving the cooking liquid, chop if needed, and add to the soup as indicated for the canned.


Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the onions, celery, carrots, peppers and garlic; cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the drained clams and parsley. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium-low, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the clams and parsley and heat about 5 minutes. Serve immediately or keep on very low heat.

Note: Bottled clam juice has an excellent flavor, but is quite salty. I suggest not adding salt to the soup. Taste at the end of cooking and add at that time if needed. This recipe can be halved or doubled as needed and leftovers reheats very well.