As I mentioned in my last post, I made Apple Cheese Beer Bread to go with this chowder. Since to me, soup is not a meal, I need to serve it with either a sandwich, grilled cheese, or bread. My parents have a house in Rhode Island. Unfortunately, we usually just end up visiting over the summer, even though they live there on and off throughout the year. Part of every visit to "the beach house" includes a lunch of New England Clam Chowder and an order of clam cakes (a.k.a. clam fritters). Taking my first spoonful of this soup totally brought back memories of our summer lunches. This soup was easy to put together and was super tasty! I was kind of surprised with the recipe coming from Cooking Light. In the past I've tried to make other chowder type recipes from the magazine and have found them to be less creamy tasting to keep them "light." This recipe totally did not feel like I was sacrificing taste for calories. I posted the original recipe amounts. However, I ended up halving everything since the recipe below yields approximately 12 servings. Just a note that even halved, with 3 cans of chopped clams, resulted in this soup having LOTS of clams. Not that we were complaining, but it might be a little over-whelming for some people! This will definitely be a go-to recipe whenever I'm feeling a little nostalgic for Rhode Island!
recipe from Cooking Light, January 2008
Yield: 12 (1 cup) servings
2 bacon slices
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/4 cups chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, undrained
5 cups diced peeled baking potato (about 1 pound)
4 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1 bay leaf
3 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion, celery, salt, thyme, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Drain clams, reserving liquid. Add clam liquid, potato, clam juice, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Discard bay leaf.
Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 12 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add clams; cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon.
Family Rating: 2 thumbs up.
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