Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
I have been making this soup "by ear" for at least 40 years. One of my toughest cooking tasks was to get it down on paper correctly without losing the original flavor. This also makes GREAT potato soup by just leaving out the clams and clam broth and increasing the amount of milk and cream. This soup is not cheap to make, and it definitely is not 'heart healthy', but just about everyone who has tried it says that it's just about the best clam chowder they have ever had !!!! It makes about 1 1/2-2 gallons of soup, so make it in a BIG pot!
- 3 lbs white rose potatoes or 3 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (don't use russet potatoes, they get get too mushy!)
- 1 lb bacon, chopped
- 2 medium onions or 1 1⁄2 large onions, diced in about 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 -3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 cup flour
- 3 (7 -9 1/3 ounce) canschopped clams or 3 (7 -9 1/3 ounce) cans minced clams, drained and liquid reserved
- 3 (10 1/2-14 ounce) cans baby clams, drained and liquid reserved
- 4 bottles clam juice
- 1 pint whipping cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon msg (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 -2 cup cold milk or 1 -2 cup canned chicken broth (optional)
- instant potato flakes, i use hungry jack (optional)
- 6 -7 green onions, thinly sliced
- While preparing bacon and onions, cook potatoes in heavily salted water in a large pot or Dutch oven until about half done.
- Drain potatoes, cool under running water, drain again, and set aside.
- In large nonstick skillet, brown bacon over medium heat until golden brown and crisp.
- Drain bacon and set aside, reserving bacon fat.
- Return 1 Tbsp fat to skillet, add onion and garlic, and cook until translucent and just beginning to brown.
- Remove onions from skillet, and drain on paper towels.
- Return remaining bacon fat to skillet.
- Add enough flour to make a fairly stiff roux, cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently and thoroughly to prevent burning, and set aside.
- Place bottled clam juice and juice reserved from clams in the Dutch oven.
- Add whipping cream, optional MSG, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Mix thoroughly, and place over low heat for about 5-10 minutes; taste again, and adjust seasonings.
- Add roux, and whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Increase heat to medium, and bring to a slow boil, whisking regularly and scraping bottom of pan to prevent burning.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking until thickened.
- Add reserved clams, bacon, onions, and potatoes, return to a boil, reduce heat, and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring and scraping bottom of pot frequently to prevent scorching.
- If soup is too thick, add milk or chicken broth as desired; if soup is too thin, add instant potato flakes to obtain desired consistency.
- Add sliced green onions, and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve with crackers or hot sour dough French bread and butter; a big bowl of soup, with some bread is a meal!
- You probably won’t need or want anything else.
- This soup is best the day after being prepared; just reheat before serving.
- It also freezes very well, so don’t worry about making too much at a time.
- Just allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and reheat over low heat until ready to serve.