June 24, 2011

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Eating fresh, homemade clam chowder is such a wonderful tradition in Connecticut. Unfortunately I don't eat dairy anymore, which means New England Clam Chowder is off the table. The real authentic ones are usually cooked with pork, which makes it doubly off for me. I used to love it – I love just about anything with clams. 

When my family and I visit Rhode Island in the summer, we spend hours digging for clams during low tide in Narragansett salt ponds. Not only do we have loads of fun, we gather loads of them to dine on. Grilled clams are fantastic, as is linguini with clam sauce (a family favorite.) But I was determined to satiate a craving and find a chowder without the dairy and meat. During my recipe hunt, I found a healthy, tasty Manhattan version. As an added bonus, it's extremely easy to prepare. I've adapted it a bit to suit my preference for lots of veggies and a little extra zip. It's delicious. It's not only great in the winter, but it's reminiscent of a day at the beach and perfect to enjoy outdoors in the heat of summer. 

manhattan clam chowder recipe

3 (6.5 ounce) cans minced clams or 3 cups fresh clams, juice reserved
1½ cups water
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes or 1 ½ cups diced fresh
1 cup chopped onion
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 medium carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (optional, adjust to your taste)
1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Ground black pepper to taste

1. Drain clams and reserve the liquid. Add enough water to the reserved liquid to make about 3 cups. Chop all your veggies.

2. Pour clam juice and water mixture into a large pot. Add tomatoes, diced vegetables, seasonings and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.  

3. Remove from heat and slightly mash the veggies to thicken the broth. Add clams and heat thoroughly.
Makes 4 servings.


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