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Contest-Winning New England Clam Chowder

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 35 min.

Makes

5 servings

This is the best New England clam chowder recipe, ever! In the Pacific Northwest, we dig our own razor clams and I grind them for the chowder. Since these aren't readily available, the canned clams are perfectly acceptable. —Sandy Larson, Port Angeles, Washington

Ingredients

  • 4 center-cut bacon strips
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
  • 3 teaspoons reduced-sodium chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free half-and-half, divided
  • 2 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) chopped clams, undrained

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain; set aside. Saute celery and onion in the drippings until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the potatoes, water, clam juice, bouillon, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup half-and-half until smooth. Gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in clams and remaining half-and-half; heat through (do not boil). Crumble the cooked bacon; sprinkle over each serving.

Clam Chowder Tips

What is New England clam chowder?

New England clam chowder normally contains clams, potatoes, onions, salted pork and milk or cream. The addition of dairy is considered the biggest difference from other chowders. New England clam chowder is a classic American staple, first eaten by settlers as early as the 1700s. Be sure to check out our other wickedly good New England recipes!

What toppings can I add to clam chowder?

Classic clam chowder toppings are oyster crackers, chopped cooked bacon and fresh chives.

How do you thicken clam chowder?

This clam chowder is thickened with a slurry, a mixture of fat-free half-and-half and flour. By mixing these two together, you will prevent clumping. Cook the soup until it has thickened, and the taste of flour will be cooked out. Follow these additional soup thickening tips!

Nutrition Facts

1-1/3 cups: 260 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 22mg cholesterol, 788mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 3g fiber), 13g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 1 lean meat.