ehclamchowder

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!

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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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