This is the BEST chowder I've ever had. I've had chowder at Legal Seafoods in Boston, which I have to say is good, but mine is BETTER! If you like thick chowder, you'll love this one!!
- Add bacon to sauce pan and cook on medium low heat until crispy.
- Add onion and cook until translucent.
- Add clam juice from both cans.
- Add potatoes.
- Cook and cover until potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Stir occasionally so potatoes won't stick.
- Add clams, soup, cream, milk, and dill weed.
- Stir together.
- Add butter and let melt into the chowder.
- Cook for about 30-45 minutes or until thickened.
- Stir occasionally.
I like to cook from scratch too, but I thought it made a lot of sense to use cream of celery soup as a base for this clam chowder. I bought fresh minced clams (in their juice) and used half and half. After I browned 4 slices of Oscar Mayer bacon and a whole vidalia onion (chopped); I added two cans of cream of celery soup, two cans of half and half and all of the clam juice to make a broth. Separately, I boiled potatoes, and acknowledging the other reviews, I only peeled and cut up two potatoes so as not to make it too potato-ey. I reserved the fresh minced clams until the end so that they would not get overcooked and rubbery (thanks for that tip too!). The stock seemed a little thin, so I added two tablespoons of Idahoan instant buttery potato, sprinkling it in the broth and letting it dissolve. It thickened the broth and the taste was wonderful--flavor from the soup stock, half and half and clam juice--plus richness from the instant potatoes. I added half a stick of butter to the bacon when it was cooked before I put the onions in too. Now, the chowder is just simmering under a boil--stirring so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the Le Creuset pot--adding the clams last and letting them heat through for flavor but not overcooking them is the last step. Coarse pepper ground on top. I bought two pumpernickel bagels at the farmer's market and will toast them and spread cream cheese on top to go with this hearty chowder for our supper by the New England coast. Thanks for all the tips and observations as you can see they helped me to fine-tune this recipe. It is DELICIOUS, just the right consistency and flavor.
FANTASTIC CHOWDER!!! I hesitated somewhat to try this recipe because of the use of canned soup (total scratch cook here). However, because of the amazing reviews, I gave it a try - oh thank heavens I did! Hands down this is the best I have ever made, and probably had at any restaurant (chefs/restauranteurs in the family)! Also shocked how something this good could be that easy to make - other recipes require much more time, ingredients, etc. Only changes/additions: Sauteed a diced rib of celery w/ the onions; used 1/2 & 1/2 because that is what I had on hand; added more dill - preference; and added the clams about 5 minutes before the end of cooking (experienced them becoming tough/chewy if overcooked). After I tasted this, I ended up taking 1/2 to another chowder lover (ex-chef) - rave reviews, and felt the same as I in that it is one of the best he's ever tasted. Thank you Teen for sharing this awesome recipe!
I am from the Great Plains, so I admit that I am not a Clam Chowder expert. My only exposure to clam chowder was while visting in Maine and New Hampshire during the winter one year. The chowder I enjoyed the most was thick, creamy and had a fair amount of potatoes. So that is why I started with this recipe. I read other reviews and incorporated some of their suggestions.
I doubled the amount of canned clams. I was concerned that the extra amount of clam juice would make the soup to thin, but that was not the case. It really brought out a nice clam flavor.
I added two stalks of chopped celery to add little more texture variation. I also added a couple of cloves of garlic.
But the thing I added that really topped off my variation was 8oz of cream cheese. Of course, I'm sure that clam chowder purists abhore the idea of canned cream of celery soup, canned clams and cream cheese, but it works really, really well. I have made numerous fans by sharing my recipe variation.