How to make clam chowder
Slurp it up
With clams, there's chowder. It's that simple. The moreish bowl never fails to hit the spot, and with good reason. Think generous portions of potatoes, leeks, bacon and cooking cream. And of course not forgetting, white wine. Thanks to this recipe from neighbourhood grocer, Little Farms, you can now cook your very own pot this weekend. Now who says soups can't be an indulgent affair?
Clam chowder: Here's what you need
24 medium sized clams (rinsed in cool running water)
15g of unsalted butter
110g bacon, diced
2 leeks, tops removed, halved, cleaned and then sliced into half moons
3 large potatoes, cubed
125 ml dry white wine
3 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups of cooking cream
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped parsley
Clam chowder: How to make it
1. Put the clams into a large, heavy Dutch oven and add about four cups of water, then set over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until clams have opened, approximately 10-15 mins. (Note: clams that fail to open after 15-20 minutes should be discarded)
2. Strain the clam broth through a sieve lined with a cheesecloth or doubled up paper towels and set the broth aside. Once strained, remove the clams from their shells and set aside.
3. Rinse out the pot and return it to the stove. Add the butter and turn the heat to medium-low.
4. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the pork has started to brown (approximately 5-7 minutes). Use a slotted spoon to remove the pork from fat and set aside.
5. Add the leeks to the fat and cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes until they are softened but not browned. Stir in the potatoes and wine and continue cooking until the wine has evaporated and the potatoes have just started to soften.
6. Add just enough clam broth so it just covers the potatoes (approx 3 cups) reserving the rest for another use. Add the thyme and the bay leaf.
7. Partly cover the pot and simmer gently until potatoes are tender (approx 10-15 mins).
8. Meanwhile, chop the clams into bits about the size of the bacon dice.
9. When the potatoes have become tender, add the cream and stir in the chopped clams and reserved bacon. Add black pepper to taste. Let everything come to a simmer and then remove from the heat. (Note: do not let the chowder come to a full boil.)
10. Fish out the thyme and bay leaf before discarding.
11. The chowder should be left to sit for a while to cure. Reheat it to a bare simmer before serving and garnish with chopped parsley.