Monday, August 4, 2014

The Secret to Amazing Clam Chowder

There is a restaurant where my dad grew up in Oregon that is known for their clam chowder. Every summer when we would drive up to visit my grandpa, we would stop for clam chowder. I was convinced there was nothing in the world more disgusting and I refused to eat anything but crackers every time we went.  One summer, after watching my parents struggle to get my to try just one bite, my grandpa took a new approach. He offered me $5 to try the soup, one bite turned into bowl after bowl and I have never looked back. After trying clam chowder at just about every place I have been that serves soup. I have come to the conclusion that the best clam chowders all contain the same ingredient. Bacon. Who doesn't love bacon, right?

This is currently my favorite go to recipe, but I am always trying to get my recipe a little bit closer to that first bowl. I just can't seem to get my husband to drive 14 hours for soup, but I am pretty sure that is just because he hasn't tasted it yet. 

You will need: 
  • 4-8 slices of bacon, chopped small
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 3-6 oz cans of clams, with juice
  • 6 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 5 teaspoons flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
Saute the bacon in a large pot until crisp. Remove from pan and set on a paper towel to drain. Saute the onions in the bacon grease for about five minutes. Add the potatoes and flour into the dry pan with the onions. Cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes until they start to soften. Add the rest of the seasonings and bacon to the pot and stir well. Pour in the milk, clams AND juice and the water into the pot. Bring to a boil. Turn down the soup and simmer on the stove for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. I like to take a couple tablespoons of corn starch and add a little bit of water to make a sort of paste. Adding this to the soup helps thicken it up a little bit. 

Just try it and see if the bacon doesn't make your soup better. 

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