Sunday, February 17, 2008

Creamy Clam Chowder

It's a Winnie the Pooh kinda day in RI......cold and blustery, the perfect kind of day for "chowda". That's how we say it 'round these parts. I found this recipe in one of my Taste of Home magazines (are ya startin' to see a trend here??) I have made it several times over the past year. It was one of their blue ribbon winners and if I remember correctly, the person who came up with this recipe won a state fair competition with it, so I thought I would give it a try.

This is a New England clam chowder. For those non swamp yankees out there, that means it's a white chowda. At first I thought it was a little "semi-ho" cause it used potato soup as an ingredient, boy was I wrong. This chowder is thick and rich and totally delicious, and it's easy enough that you can make it on a weeknight. Everyone I serve it to raves about it, then asks for the recipe, then I blush when I tell them "it has potato soup in it". Hell, they don't care, it just damn good. You need to make this chowder.....unless you don't like chowder....then move along......nuthin' to see here.

Creamy Clam Chowder
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced
3/4 cup butter, cubed
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted
3 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) minced (or chopped) clams
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 quart half-and-half cream

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion, carrots and celery in butter until tender. Stir in the potato soup and two cans of undrained clams. Drain and discard juice from remaining can of clams; add clams to soup. Combine cornstarch and a small amount of cream until smooth; stir into soup. Add the remaining cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Yield: 9 servings (about 2 quarts).

I add an extra can of drained clams. I also buy the chopped, not minced clams. We are used to big ole pieces of clams in our chowder here, so minced just wouldn't cut it. You can use whatever you prefer. If you have fresh, by all means use those. Come summertime that's what we'll be using in our chowda.
I also added a small handful of fresh chopped parsley (optional)
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