There’s just something about the taste of clam soup that hits the spot. It doesn’t need a lot of coaxing to get the distinct flavor out of the clams – the rich flavor of the sea ignites the bones. My city is a city that gets to supply the rest of the country with canned sardines, since fishermen have direct access to the sea. Clams, along with a variety of fish and shellfish are always abundant in the seafood markets.
I like my clams baked, or made into a simple soup with tomatoes, kangkong or chili leaves. But last Sunday, for mother’s day, I decided to go the extra mile and make it into a chowder – “New England” Clam Chowder.
The main difference between New England and Manhattan Clam Chowder is the cooking liquid used. New England uses cream or milk to flavor the clam broth, while Manhattan uses tomato sauce. One of my favorite restaurants serves this really delicious seafood chowder that carries the strong flavor of clam, and Mother’s Day was the perfect excuse to relive the taste again.
This isn’t really ‘New England’ to the letter because I didn’t have the crackers to thicken this. But adding bread crumbs to thicken this more can be a good idea…in the same way I like my lechon sauce really thick. Lechon. Lechon. God I’m hungry again. I’ll probably have my fill of lechon soon, but for now, I’m happy remembering the moment I had the first spoonful of the finished product. It was immaculate.
Clam Chowder (serves 5 – 6)
Feel free to thicken it more with crackers, cornstarch, flour or even bread crumbs. This has a hint of thickness thanks to the flour but it doesn’t tread the lines of being gravy-ish, which I really like.
- 30 pieces clams, scrubbed and cleaned
- 1/4 cup butter
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large white onions, cubed
- 4 – 5 medium-sized potatoes, sliced into small cubes
- 2 medium-sized carrots, sliced into small cubes
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 1 piece hungarian sausage, sliced, then each slice halved
- 6 – 7 cups water
- 1 300g can cream (I used Nestle)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- sliced spring onions for garnish
- In a large stockpot over medium heat, add the oil and butter and allow it to melt.
- Add the onions and sauté until limp. Add the carrots and potatoes. Mix well and sauté for around 3 – 4 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and mix well.
- Add the water, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and allow to simmer, for about 8 – 10 minutes.
- When the water is beginning to boil, lower the heat and add the cream. Mix well. Add the hungarian sausage.
- Add the clams and cover so the clams can cook, around 3 – 5 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- When the potatoes and carrots are cooked through, remove from heat. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with spring onions. Enjoy!