New England clam chowder
- July 2013
- Serves 6-8
- Takes 30 minutes to make, 1 hour to cook
This hearty winter soup is packed with flavour and makes a perfect warming lunch, served with fresh bread.
- 18.6g (9.1g saturated)
- 21.1g (2.4g sugars)
- Olive oil for frying
- Knob of unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5kg small clams (we used palourdes), cleaned (see Know-how)
- 6 British free-range streaky bacon rashers, finely sliced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 500g waxy potatoes, such as charlotte, cut into 1cm chunks
- 3 sweetcorn cobs, kernels stripped (see Know-how)
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 150ml double cream
- Small bunch of fresh chives, snipped
- Saltines (from amazon.co.uk) or Jacob’s Cream Crackers or bread sprinkled with a pinch of salt to serve
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil and butter, then gently fry the shallots over a medium heat until tender but not browned. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add the thyme, bay leaf, clams and 500ml boiling water. Cover and cook for 2 minutes or until the clams open, then remove from the heat and strain through a colander, reserving the cooking liquid. Pick the meat from the clams into a bowl (discard the flavourings, shells and any unopened clams), then set aside.
- Heat a little more oil in the same pan, then fry the bacon over a medium heat until starting to crisp. Add theonion and fry until soft. Add the potatoes with the reserved clam liquid and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender.
- Add the corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes. Spoon 2 tbsp of the broth into a small jug with the cornflour and mix to a smooth paste. Whisk into the pan, then simmer until slightly thickened.
- Stir in the cream and clam meat. Season, sprinkle with chives, then serve with saltines, crackers or bread.
To clean clams, soak them in cold, salted water for 30 minutes, then rinse well and continue with the recipe. Discard any clams that don’t close firmly when sharply tapped on a work surface.
To strip sweetcorn kernels, hold the cobs upright on a stable chopping board and slice down with a sharp knife as close to the cob as possible.
Cook the clams the day before and chill in the fridge until needed.
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