Total Time
Prep 35 mins
Cook 25 mins

After a recent trip to San Francisco I decided to make a few adjustments to my recipe and post it. I get a lot of requests for this recipe. I use it on my catering menu as well. This recipe uses canned clams, I use fresh when making it for myself but this is much easier and faster.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Fry bacon. When it's done put it on some paper towels to drain. Pour the dripping into a large stock pot.
  2. Add butter to the stock pot and heat over medium until butter is melted.
  3. Add the onions, celery, and garlic to the pot. Cook on medium-high heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft.
  4. Slowly add flour while continually stirring. You are making a roux. DON'T JUST DUMP THE FLOUR IN! It is very important to slowly whisk/stir in the flour. Once all of the flour has been added continue to cook and stir for 5 minutes.
  5. Add chopped clams and their juices, diced potatoes, clam juice, spices, and the half and half. Bring to a boil. When it boils immediately reduce to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir often. You can add some whole clams at this point too.
  6. Check the potatoes. When they are done -- SOUP'S ON!
  7. Garnish and serve. Bread bowls are the best for this soup but regular bowls work fine. Cheese or fresh herbs make a great garnish. Fresh cracked pepper and hot sauce are a popular and tasty topper too.


Most Helpful

Great chowder! Loved it! There was no instructions for disposing of the bacon so I gave it to my dog. He would rather have had the chowder. We'll be making this again.

David N. January 19, 2015

Wow. This really hit the spot. I am declaring this the best soup I ever made. I was looking for a San Francisco-ish chowder. I did make several changes. First, I halved the recipe. I omitted the celery, added a carrot (whoops, thought that was on the list), used twice as much clam juice as recommended, omitted the celery salt and used a French herb mix that had thyme as one of its ingredients. Overall this was very rich and delicious. It was my first time cooking with a true roux, and to counteract the bacon and butter, I did use fat free half and half, which tasted great. Thanks again for submitting such a wonderful recipe. I will be making this again.

ElleFirebrand December 25, 2007

This is the most amazing clam chowder I've ever had....thick, creamy, and full of flavor. The herbs and seasonings are perfect (though I did add more salt), and I love the tiny "hit" that the cayenne gives it. The only change I made to the recipe was that I left the peels on the potatoes (due both to laziness and to the fact that I found wonderfully tender-skinned red potatoes to use). Thanks so much for sharing such a marvelous recipe. It will be one I'll pull out whenever it's time to impress.

Vina February 24, 2007

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