When the winter sets in, it seems like all I want to do it cook soup.  Most soup recipes tend to be quick enough for a weeknight meal even if you work full-time like I do and there are usually plenty of leftovers, which we end up bringing for our lunches during the week.  Kyle works on commercial/industrial construction sites and since these sites are almost always unheated (and un-air conditioned in the summer!) during the construction process, there’s nothing he loves more than a hot bowl of homemade soup for lunch in the winter (believe it or not, he has a microwave in his office!).

This clam chowder, in particular, is one of his favorite soups.  And who doesn’t love New England clam chowder?  Though the title of this recipe is East Hampton Clam Chowder, I see very little difference between the two – I think Ina wanted a title close to home. 🙂  In spite of the title, the soup still gives you a hearty and thick base filled with potatoes, carrots, and of course plenty of clams.  The recipe calls for fresh chowder clams but if fresh clams aren’t available near you or you want to save some time, see if you can find fresh clams in their juice that are frozen. Whole Foods definitely sells them like this because that’s what I used for this recipe.  But if worse comes to worse, use canned clams.  Regardless of what clams you use, it’s a sure winner of a recipe for us!


East Hampton Clam Chowder
source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Family Style

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
2 cups medium-diced celery (4 stalks)
2 cups medium-diced carrots (6 carrots)
4 cups peeled medium-diced boiling potatoes (8 potatoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 quart (4 cups) clam juice
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3 cups chopped fresh chowder clams (1 1/2 pounds shucked clams)

Melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter in a large heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the celery, carrots, potatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 more minutes. Add the clam juice, bring to a boil, and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

In a small pot, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and whisk in the flour. Cook over very low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in a cup of the hot broth and then pour this mixture back into the cooked vegetables. Simmer for a few minutes until the broth is thickened.

Add the milk and clams and heat gently for a few minutes to cook the clams. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.


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Leave a Comment

  • January 4, 2011 at 8:13 AM

    I am definitely a fan of this kind of chowder (or as we call it chowdah). I bet he loves coming home to this!!

  • January 4, 2011 at 8:14 AM

    Great looking soup! I’ve been thinking about clam chowder, and now I think I’ll have to make some.

  • January 4, 2011 at 8:32 AM

    I saw New England Clam Chowder come up on my foodbuzz inbox and thought-I have to check this out! I’m so happy I did… You have such a beautiful blog! This recipe looks delicious and you can never go wrong with an Ina dish… she’s amazing! Looking forward to following your blog 🙂

  • January 4, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    I just *love* New England Clam Chowder—a lot better than Manhattan even if I’m a New Yorker by birth. But funnily enough I have never made it at home. That’s have to change! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  • January 4, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    I’ve never made chowder, as I don’t eat seafood. My bf loves it, but he is loyal to his dad’s! I have to say that Ina is always a winner!

  • January 4, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Love clam chowder! If anyone knows how to make it, it has to be Ina(with the GOOD ingredients)

  • January 4, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    I could honestly eat some type of soup everyday! I actually just made a potatoe florentine soup. Clam chowder has been on my list to make for year. Maybe I’ll give this Ina recipe a go 🙂

  • January 4, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Can you believe I’ve never had clam chowder? I’ve been dying to try it but since I’ve never had it, I didn’t quite know what to look for in a recipe. But now, a version from Ina and recommended by a New Englander? I’ll take that as a sign!