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4 dozen cherrystone clams, scrubbed*
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups diced yellow onions (1/4-inch dice)
2 cups diced celery (1/4-inch dice)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 cup diced poblano chiles (1/8-inch dice)
3/4 cup diced yellow bell peppers (1/4-inch dice)
3 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
2 1/2 cups dry white wine
4 cups water
2 cups diced and peeled sweet potatoes (1/4-inch dice)
1 cup diced carrots (1/4-inch dice)
3/4 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs, such as thyme, oregano, and/or marjoram
* FreshDirect Note: When cherrystone clams are unavailable,
we may substitute cockles or another suitable clam.
Put 3 cups water and the clams in a wide shallow pan, cover the pan, and steam the clams over medium-high heat until they open, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the clams from their shells and put aside. Strain and reserve the cooking liquid.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes. Add the poblanos and yellow peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, 2 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid from the clams, the wine, and water and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, carrots, and corn and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the clams and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and ladle into soup bowls. Garnish the chowder with the chopped herbs.