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.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces slab or thick-sliced bacon, chopped
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped green peppers
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) whole tomatoes, crushed slightly, with juices
- 1 cup seafood broth or bottled clam juice
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 6 cans (6-ounces each) chopped or minced clams, drained, juices reserved
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and sauté until browned, about 2 minutes. Add the onions, celery, carrots, peppers and garlic; sauté about 2 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the clams and parsley, including the reserved can juices. Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat 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.