New England Clam Chowder

I feel a bit silly writing this down because there are so many great New England Clam Chowder recipes out there. You probably have your own. But this one really worked, so I want to save it!

  • 4-5 waxy yellow potatoes
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 1 t butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • A can of clams
  • 2/3 cup clam juice
  • 1/4 cup water (or bit more)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt to taste


1. Cut the potatoes into chunks (see above photo) and boil for about 15 minutes. Drain boiling water and leave potatoes in the pot to dry and cool. Then, cut them up into small pieces.

2. Cut the bacon into thin strips--I use kitchen shears for this. Fry in a large Dutch oven. When bacon is just starting to shrink and render grease, add the butter and onions.

3. When onions become aromatic and a bit glassy (about 2 minutes), add the celery and bay leaf. Continue to stir and cook for another few minutes.

4. Add the potatoes, clams and the clam juice. You can also add a splash of water--just enough to cover the ingredients. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so.

5. Check liquid levels--if the soup is fairly runny, you're fine. If things are starting to dry out and stick, add a bit more water and heat. Then, sprinkle a third of the flour all over the surface of the hot soup (see below). Stir it in and let heat.

6. Repeat the flour sprinkle two more times. The soup should become creamy (see below how my spoon makes a trail in the thick soup).

7. At this point I consider the soup something of a concentrate--it can be used right away, left to cool and meld for up to an hour, or refrigerated for a day or two. When ready to eat, reheat and add the milk. Salt to taste. Bring to something just below a gentle boil, and serve. Serves 2-4.

Nice with black pepper, cayenne pepper, oyster crackers and/or saltines.

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