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I am a super clam chowder snob. Roux has no place in clam chowder, unless you're trying to hide old gummy fish parts, but then, why would you cook it? This is a thin, light, yet deliciously hearty clam chowder that you can have more than one bowl. I usually pair it with an earthy, hearty salad
- 1 tablespoon bacon fat
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (more or less as needed)
- 2 medium yellow onions, minced
- 1 1⁄2 lbs red potatoes, cut into 1 cm. cubes
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 (8 ounce) bottle clam juice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cracked black pepper (to taste)
- 1 -2 sage leaf
- 10 sprigs fresh rosemary (the little leaves)
- 1 -2 bay leaf
- 1 -2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
- 3 stalks celery, in 1 cm. cubes
- 3 lbs clams (Little Neck or Manila, just make sure they're still alive and squirting water when you get them)
- In a heavy bottomed pot (Dutch oven), melt the bacon fat and 1-2 T. of butter. Add the onions and sauté them with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
- When they're fragrant, add the potatoes and sauté together for a few minutes with the lid on, tossing occasionally.
- When the potatoes start to sear or brown, add the clam juice and the milk. Stir in the liquids, and then add the celery seed, cracked pepper, sage, rosemary, bay and a little salt (add in stages to avoid making it over salty.
- When the soup starts to simmer, stir it, and taste it. Add more salt and butter if it's necessary. After 4 minutes, add the celery.
- Let it simmer for 5 more minutes. If you are making the soup ahead, go ahead and turn it off, and put the lid on it (if you put the clams in and then try to reheat it, they'll get all gross and rubbery). If you're serving immediately, rinse the clams and then add them to the soup. Stir them in, and half cap the pot until it starts to simmer. Stir when it simmers and serve when the clams open up (approximately 3 minutes).
I love clam chowder and this is a really good clam chowder recipe! I will definately make it again, especially since soup season has arrived! Made for PAC Fall 2009.