Hearty Manhattan Clam Chowder

This is a hearty soup full of flavor, both spicy and sweet with surprises of saltiness from the bits of bacon.   The chowder is a meal in itself, however this spicy broth pairs nicely with my refreshing Beet & Watermelon Salad.  This recipe yields a generous 8-10 servings.  I freeze half of the soup in individual serving size containers for a fast, nutritious and satisfying meal anytime.

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bacon, cut into small squares
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper (green or red bell peppers can be used; I like the color contrast of yellow bell peppers)
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 5 – 15 oz clam stock*
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, removed from stems and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (this will definitely add a spicy kick to the soup which I love; try ¼ tsp to start if you don’t like your soup too spicy)
  • 3 cans 6.5 ounce minced clams
  • 2 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes*, chopped and juices reserved
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 4 turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt

* NOTE: If you are a gluten-free diet, ensure that the ingredients you are using are gluten-free.

Directions

In a large heavy pot add bacon and render until golden and crispy.  Add onions, celery, bell pepper and carrots and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, until vegetables are softened.  Add garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes.  Add potatoes, clam broth, bay leaves, dried oregano, thyme and crushed red pepper.  Cover and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes and continue to cook for 15 additional minutes.  Add clams (for less cloudy and clammy taste, drain clams but I sometimes add the whole can, juice and all).  Add parsley and season with pepper and salt.  Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with some chopped fresh parsley when serving.

DSC_6018
Red or green bell peppers can be used however, I prefer the color contrast of yellow bell peppers.
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Cook the vegetables until softened, about 10 minutes.
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Remove the thyme leaves from the stem and chop roughly.
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Mince 4 large garlic cloves.
This spicy and hearty Manhattan Clam Chowder pairs nicely with my sweet and refreshing Beet & Watermelon Salad.
This spicy and hearty Manhattan Clam Chowder pairs nicely with my sweet and refreshing Beet & Watermelon Salad.

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