Clam chowder is one of my favorite things to order when I go to a restaurant. My favorite is the creamy white chowder with potatoes, celery, and clams. Although I enjoy eating clams in their shells, I don’t like to think about them that much when they are diced and thrown in a soup. So in my recipe, I am keeping half of them in their shells, which makes the soup even more appealing.
I spotted a Swanson cream starter box in the grocery store aisle this past week when I was buying soup. A foggy morning reminded me of fishermen’s boats in Maine, and I wanted to make clam chowder for the first time at home. The rest of the ingredients I purchased were inspired by my favorite clam chowder spot in downtown Los Angeles, Water Grill.
When I was a college student, I liked trying new restaurants in Los Angeles, which was a mecca for eating all kinds of food, from Argentinian to Persian to fancy establishments in famous Beverly Hills. It was like a foodie’s dream. The Water Grill continued to be my favorite place because their clam chowder was out of this world. My favorite part about their potato slices was that they were sliced instead of chopped, and their clams were still in their shells.
I developed my own recipe for clam chowder by taking steps from Swanson’s Cream Starter’s recipe and adding ingredients to my own until it tasted similar to mine but much less like Swanson’s. I want to use the Cream Started again for my next creamy soup creation because it made things go faster. Let me know if you try it and enjoy it – it’s really quick to prepare and you can do dishes in the meantime while it’s simmering, so it’s a great dinner for a busy night.
THE NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER
A recipe from Everyday Cooking Adventures.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: One hour
Serves two people
The following ingredients may be used;
- A dozen to fourteen little neck clams, cleaned
- 3/4 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Bacon slices, diced 2 slices thick (if your bacon is thin, double up the slices and dice)
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- A half-cup of finely chopped yellow onion
- Celery stalk (about 6 inches long), chopped
- Chopped one-half of a bell pepper.
- 1/4 cup of frozen corn
- Unpeeled 1/2 pound red potatoes, cut into small rounds about the size of 1 1/2 cups
- (4) ounces of seafood stock (as needed)
- Half a carton (13 ounces) of Swanson® Cream Starter or Swanson® Cream Starter 25% Reduced Fat.
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Croutons to taste
Please follow the directions below:
- Place the clams in a saucepan with 4 quarts of water. Cook, covered, for six minutes on high. Uncover the pot and remove any open clams. Cover again and cook the clams for 2 to 3 minutes more. Take the open clams off the heat and set aside. The clams that have not opened should be discarded. Using a mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter, strain the liquid from the pot and set it aside. One-half of the clams should be left in their shells. Chopping the remainder of the clams into large pieces and reserving.
2 . Stir the butter and bacon together and cook for 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Removing the bacon to a plate without draining the pan is fine. Add an onion and cook for four minutes, stirring occasionally.
3 . Stir celery, bell pepper, corn, potatoes, and the clam juice into the saucepan. Add some seafood stock if they are not completely covered by the juice and heat to a boil. Put the cover on the pan and cook on low heat for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Stir occasionally.
4 . Cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt, black pepper, and cream starter, and sprinkle with bacon, parsley and croutons. Serve hot. Enjoy!