I have been making this clam chowder since I was a new bride. It is probably not traditional, and it will not win a chowder "cook-off" because, hey, I live in the desert, but it is darn good comfort food. Great for laryngitis and illnesses real and imagined!
Manhattan Clam Chowder
Recipe by, Victoria Copeland
Makes 5, 1-cup servings
4 slices bacon, fried crispy and crumbled
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup fresh celery, diced
1 cup fresh carrots, diced
3-4 large Idaho potatoes, diced
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 dried bay leaf
2 (or 3 if you are clam happy) cans (7 to 8 oz each) minced clams (I like Snow's)
1 8 oz. bottle clam juice ( I use Yankee Clippper brand)
2 14.5 oz. cans "no-salt" diced tomatoes ( I prefer Trader Joe's organic)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a 6 qt. saucepan, cook bacon until crispy, remove and set aside to drain and cool
In the bacon drippings of the same pan (no apologies!), sauté onions until they are soft, about 3 minutes, add diced celery and carrots, sauté another 5 - 8 minutes until slightly browned and soft, add diced potatoes thyme and bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste, and sauté another 5 minutes.
Open the canned clams, pour off the juice only and the bottled clam juice together into a large measuring cup, add enough warm water to top off the juice, you will want a total of 4 cups liquid.
Add the liquid to the sautéd vegetable mixture. Start to bring up the heat.
Add the diced tomatoes with their juice.
Bring to a boil, simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender.
Add clams, cover, and cook only until clams are heated through.
Serve sprinkled with the crumbled bacon and your favorite crackers or crusty bread. I like to serve this soup with crackers, cheese and apple slices on the side.
Add potatoes and seasonings, continue to sauté