Sunday, September 30, 2012
3# Little neck clams
2 bottles (8 oz) Bar Harbor clam juice
4 slices bacon 1/4" slice
1 Large onion diced
2 stalks celery diced
2 carrots peeled and diced
1/2 green pepper diced
3 cloves garlic diced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp pepper flakes
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2# Yukon gold potatoes diced
1 28oz can San Marzanno tomatoes
1 Tbsp parsley chopped
salt & pepper
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add clams, cover and cook about 5 minutes until clams just open (more time for larger clams). Remove clams and strain and reserve cooking liquid (liquor). Add water to liquor to make 4 cups, set aside. Remove clams from shell (discard any clams that did not open). Chop clams to 1/4". Set aside.
In a large soup pot render bacon until crisp. Add onion, carrot, celery, and pepper. Saute on low for about 10 minutes until vegetables are soft (do not brown). Add garlic, thyme, oregano, and pepper flakes - saute 2 more minutes.
Add potatoes, reserved liquor, and chicken stock to soup pot. Cover, bring to boil and cook for 20 minutes. Break up canned tomatoes with your hands and add to soup pot. Continue cooking for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add reserved clams and parsley. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Let sit for 1 hour for flavors to develop. Reheat gently (do not boil as you will toughen clams). Serve with oyster crackers or I prefer Vt Common crackers ( http://www.vermontcommonfoods.com/commoncrackers.html )
This Chowder also freezes very well.