New England Clam Chowder, a classic soup dish perfect for any time of the year. Take advantage of fresh chopped clams if they’re available to you or use canned chopped clams for ease – both delicious with superior flavor!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hormel Foods, LLC. for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
There are some foods that I associate with certain seasons that I’m sure most of you do as well. Apples and pumpkin in fall, gingerbread, cranberry and orange in the winter, asparagus in the spring and strawberries in early summer.
I also think of New England Clam Chowder when I think of summer foods. There’s something about fresh seafood that just makes me feel like summer has finally arrived.
As a New Englander, we have access to amazing fresh fish year round. But it’s during the summer when all fish shacks open up and serve “the best” clam chowder, fish and chips, fish sandwiches, lobster rolls, and fisherman’s platters. It’s all spectacular and none of it is gluten free.
We’ve really been missing hitting up our favorite fresh seafood place directly on the docks so I’ve started making it at home and it’s just as good, if not better. I’ve actually been making this clam chowder recipe for years and have tweaked it to meet our tastes perfectly.
People have different opinions when it comes to chowder and what it should be. Fact: Manhattan is red, Rhode Island is clear and New England is white. Opinion: New England Clam Chowder is, hands down, the best kind you could ever have. It’s thick, creamy, full of wonderful clam flavor and oh so delicious. Some like it thicker than others but as long as its creamy and chock full of clams, it’s gonna be great. I actually make mine a different thickness depending on what I’m serving it in. I’ll make it thicker if serving it in a bread bowl and not quite as thick if I’m having it in a regular old bowl.
One important part of making my easy clam chowder recipe (other than the clams) is the base of the soup – the broth is the backbone of the soup. I heat potatoes that I use in the soup in chicken broth made with HERB-OX® chicken bouillon, which is then used in the soup itself. I’ve tried several different kinds of broth over the years and HERB-OX® lends the best flavor without overtaking the flavor of the clams. Not only is the flavor spot-on, it’s super affordable – you’ll get a lot of uses out of it!
Salt pork is also a must. I like to get the sliced salt pork. The fat rendering from the salt pork brings so much flavor and is the fat base that mixes with the flour to thicken the soup. Don’t skip it if you don’t have to. If you can’t find it, you can sub in a few slices of bacon but I HIGHLY recommend using the salt pork.
In this recipe, I used fresh chopped clams that I got in the seafood department at my local grocery store. If fresh chopped clams are not available to you, don’t despair! I’ve also made this many times with chopped canned clams and it works just as well. I find those and the bottled clam juice in the aisle with the tuna fish – they’re pretty much available anywhere.
Soup is such an easy and comforting meal any night of the week, any time of the year. But please give my little heart some peace of mind and satisfaction and promise me you will make the best clam chowder recipe this summer. Enjoy!
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- 4 C potatoes, finely diced (I recommend russets or Yukon gold)
- 4 C cold water
- 4 tsp Herb-OX granulated bouillon
- 8 oz. salt pork*
- 1 medium onion, finely diced - about 1 1/2 C
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 1/4 C gluten free all purpose flour
- 1 8 oz. bottle clam juice
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 springs of fresh thyme (whole)
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 lb. fresh chopped clams**
- 1 C half and half, warmed
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp water, optional
- Add the potatoes, water and Herb-Ox to a medium pan and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes for 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain the potatoes over a large bowl to save the cooking liquid - this will be added back to the chowder. Set both the potatoes and liquid aside while preparing the rest of the chowder.
- In a large pot, cook the salt pork over medium high heat to render 1/4 C fat. When 1/4 cup of fat is rendered, remove the salt pork from the pot and discard. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes or until softened.
- Stir in the flour to coat the vegetables in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the clam juice, reserved potato cooking liquid, bay leaves, thyme and white pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes over medium heat until the soup thickens. Stir in the clams, potatoes and half and half. If you want a thicker chowder, stir together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Stir the slurry into the chowder until it reaches your desired thickness. Simmer for another 5 minutes but do not let it boil. Serve immediately and refrigerate leftovers.
I used the sliced variety, it'll look like half pieces of bacon when it comes out of the package. If you can't find it, use 3-4 slices of bacon instead.*Canned clams can be substituted - add the clams and juice they come in. Recipe adapted from [Cuisine at Home Splendid Soups & Spectacular Sides.
OTHER CHOWDER RECIPES YOU’LL ENJOY:
Roasted Carrot Soup – The Wicked Noodle
Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup – Faithfully Gluten Free
Simple Summer Corn Soup – Minimalist Baker
Gluten Free Ham Cheddar Chowder – My Gluten-Free Kitchen