A classic New England clam chowder - Fresh clams, potatoes and bacon come together for a creamy flavorful chowder, perfect to serve with crusty bread.
New England clam chowder is a milk/cream-based chowder, and it's an American traditional recipe, occasionally referred to as Boston chowder.
"A New England clam chowder, made as it should be, is a dish to preach about, to chant praises and sing hymns and burn incense before. To fight for. The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought for--or on--clam chowder; part of it at least, I am sure it was. It is as American as the Stars and Stripes, as patriotic as the national Anthem. It is 'Yankee Doodle in a kettle.'"
Joseph C. Lincoln (1870-1944)
Fresh clams, basic vegetables like potato, carrot and potatoes, and some extra simple ingredients come altogether into a silky heart-warming soup.
Make sure you don't add tomatoes: in 1939 the Maine legislature declared illegal to add them to the clam chowder. But you fancy adding tomatoes in place of cream (making it “Manhattan-style”) is totally ok.
I loved every single scoop of this delicious chowder. It has quickly become a regular hit at the dinner table. It's just the comforting meal you need on a chilled fall evening.
It took me days to develop just the perfect recipe, but now I'm super proud to share this with you all.
What about you, have you ever tried a traditional New England clam chowder?
Write a comment below and let me know how you liked it. Or even better, take a picture and tag it #thepetitecook on Instagram! I can't wait to see your pictures!
Original New England Clam Chowder
- 3 kg fresh clams, 3kg
- 450 g potatoes, peeled and finely cubed
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 1 golden onion, finely diced
- 100 g Bacon or Speck, finely cubed
- 250 ml fresh double cream
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
- Extravirgin olive oil, as needed
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely sliced (optional)
- kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper , to taste
- Soak the clams in a bowl with cold water and kosher salt for an hour. Wash them through afterwards. Heat a large pan over med-heat with the garlic and 2 tablespoon of oil.
- Fold in the clams, cover with a lid and cook for about 5 mins, until the shells open and they release the liquid. Turn the heat off and discard the garlic.
- Once ready, filter the clams liquid and set aside. Remove the clams from their shells and set them aside, use some of the shells for decoration and discard the rest.
- Heat a large pan with 1 tablespoon of oil over med-heat. Add in the carrots, celery and onion, thyme and bay leaves. Saute for 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the potatoes and bacon, stir fry for a min, then pour in the clams liquid. Cover with a lid and cook until the potatoes are softened.
- Pour in the double cream, season to taste and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off and discard the bay leaves.
- Blend the mixture until smooth. Transfer back to the pan, add in the reserved clams, sprinkle with parsley and chili and season to taste.
- Stir all ingredients, then divide the chowder among plates and serve with toasted ciabatta.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Very delicious, made this recipe x3 and had enough leftover for supper.
Oh my gosh. Wow, anyone who has to leave such an arrogant 'comment' that they are second generation (who cares??) that you don't know what you're talking about and need to do the recipe over.
Has never really been to Ireland! I LIVE there. LOL!! We're also talking about CREATIVE license as a chef. FULLY acceptable and agreeable.
GORGEOUS recipe, The only thing I would make sure to leave chunks/cubes of potatoes. I like a more hearty/earthy soup (not a soupy soup, if that makes sense?) Fabulous site (This recipe is *just fine*)
john murphy says
Someone got creative with the copy here. A traditional New England clam chowder inspired by a trip to Dublin? I'm second gen irish American and grew up in Connecticut. This recipe misses a traditional clam chowder by a mile.tomato is for Manhattan style .Chowder and never finds its way into a traditional New England pot. Garlic? Really?
I like this site and often pull inspiration from it. This recipe is a do over.for the record new England is Connecticut,Massachusetts,Vermont,New Hampshire and Maine. Take a road trip.
Hi John, thank you for your raw comments :). I've never said it was a traditional meal from Ireland. I've only said I discovered it while on holiday in Dublin, which I'm sure you know is full of international restaurants, including american-style ones where I got to try this recipe. Unfortunately I've never been to US, but it doesn't mean I don't know where New England is.
I've also never said there should be tomato, but I gave the option because it's a nice addition. Could you please be more specific when you say this is FAR from being a traditional chowder? There are no tomatoes, and I'm quite sure garlic is listed in the original recipe too. So let me know if there's anything else wrong so I can improve myself and share a loyal recipe to the original. Have a nice weekend 🙂