Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Manhattan Clam Chowder

The hubby is a big Manhattan Clam Chowder fan. He loves the stuff. So, it was about time for me to give it a try. The thick cut bacon was clearly the key to this soup. Normally, I use regular bacon- whatever I have in the freezer. However, this recipe is not the one to go cheap on. You can find thick cut bacon with all of the other varieties in your grocery store, or you can go to a butcher. Either way, do it. Trust me- it's delicious! The bacon gave the soup an earthy smokiness that played well with the clams and lemon juice. Then again, when have you known me to NOT love something with bacon in it???

Manhattan Clam Chowder

4 strips of thick cut bacon, diced
2 leeks, white and light green parts chopped finely
2 Russet potatoes, diced
2 stalks of Celery, diced
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes drained, juices reserved
2 cans minced clams drained, juices reserved
3 cups of water
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon over medium high for 4 minutes, or until brown. Add the leeks, potatoes, celery, and tomatoes. Cook for minutes, adding the garlic during the last minute. Add tomato juice, clam juice, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the soup has boiled, cover and cook on medium low for 15 minutes.
After the 15 minutes, check to see if the potatoes are cooked. If not, cook for another 3 minutes, then check again. Once the potatoes are cooked, remove the pot from the heat. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), blend the soup a bit, making sure to leave it a bit chunky. Return soup to the heat and add clams, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, then taste to adjust seasonings if needed. Stir in the fresh parsley and serve with crackers.

Adapted from William-Sonoma Soups and Stews

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