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from "The Great American Seafood Cookbook" by Susan Hermann Loomis

I've eaten clam chowder from Oregon to Maryland, and I nearly always come away from a bowl disappointed. What I want is a rich, delicate, creamy soup infused with the sweet brininess of clams. This creamy clam soup is rich with diced potatoes and the smoky flavor of bacon, a touch of celery and scallions, and plenty of clams bobbing around in it. Try this with a lightly chilled Kabinett or Vouvray.

Makes 4 large servings

3 pounds Manila, butter, or littleneck clams, shells well scrubbed under cold running water
4 ounces slab bacon, rind removed, cut into 1/2 x 1/4 x 1/4-inch pieces
2 tender interior celery ribs, finely chopped
1 bunch (about 5) scallion, trimmed, the white bulbs and light green stems cut in thin rounds
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 even pieces
1/4 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced
Paprika, for garnish

Print Print recipe

1. Rinse the clams. Combine them with 1 cup of water in a medium-size saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook just until the clams open, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Drain the clams, reserving the liquor; discard any that do not open.
2. Remove the clams from their shells and reserve them, covered, so they don't dry out. Strain the clam cooking liquor through a double thickness of cheesecloth; reserve.
3. Render the bacon in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat until crisp and golden. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Add the celery, scallions, and potatoes to the bacon fat and sauté just until the scallions and celery begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the clam liquor and 1 cup of water. Cook until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes.
4. Add the milk and cream, stirring occasionally and making sure the chowder doesn't boil, until heated through, about 10 minutes. Add the clams and cook until they are heated through, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. To serve the soup, ladle into 4 soup bowls. Top each bowl with a pat of butter, a shower of parsley, and a dusting of paprika. Pass the bacon separately. Serve immediately.

Buy The Ingredients
Product nutrition and information
 Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
  Wild Local Littleneck Clams - $0.59/ea
Schaller & Weber Smoked Bacon, Cut to Order - $14.99/lb
 Extra Thick
  Ocean Mist Farms Celery, Medium - $2.99/ea Save! 2 for $5.00
  Ocean Mist Farms Scallions - $1.79/ea Save! 2 for $3.50
  Russet Potato, Medium - $0.99/lb
  Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream - $4.29/ea
 1 pint
  Italian Parsley - $1.99/ea
You May Already Have
  Amish Country Farms Organic Whole Milk - $4.79/ea
 1/2 gallon
  Hain Pure Foods Sea Salt - $2.99/ea
  Gefen Ground Black Pepper - $2.69/ea
  Land O'Lakes Unsalted Butter - $4.99/ea Save! 2 for $7.00
 4ct, 4oz ea  
  Spice Supreme Paprika - $1.19/ea
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