A delicious New England clam chowder you've got to try

This rich, creamy soup is all that you could want a chowder to be — hearty with potatoes and chunky with lots of plump, juicy clams. Cherrystone clams work best — adding lots of flavour but without an inky aftertaste. Read on for a delicious recipe that's sure to impress.

A delicious New England clam chowder you've got to try

Try this New England clam chowder

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes.
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes.
  • Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 24 cherrystone or chowder clams, 1 kg (about 2 lb), scrubbed
  • 4 slices reduced-sodium turkey bacon, cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 500 g (1 lb) all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) cubes
  • 500 ml (2 c) reduced-fat (2%) milk
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch ground red pepper
  • 50 g (1/4 c) chopped flat-leaf parsley

Instructions:

  1. Bring clams and 500 millilitres (2 cups) water to a boil in large pot over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Uncover and transfer clams with tongs or a slotted spoon to bowl as they open. Strain clam broth, adding enough water to equal 375 millilitres (1 1/2 cups); set aside. Wipe out pot.
  2. Lightly coat pot with nonstick cooking spray and set over medium heat. Sauté bacon and onion until onion is golden, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring constantly, just until bubbling but not browned, about 1 minute.
  3. Add potatoes, milk, reserved clam broth, thyme, bay leaf and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes (do not boil).
  4. Meanwhile, remove clams from shells and cut into bite-size pieces, if necessary. Stir in clams and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
  5. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parsley. Serve 500 millilitres (2 cups) chowder per person.

Nutritional information you should consider

Each serving (2 cups) provides:

  • Key nutrients: 390 calories, 60 calories from fat, 6 g fat, 2g  saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 37 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 3 g fibre, 280 mg sodium.
  • Blood pressure nutrients: 53 mg vitamin C, 57 mg magnesium, 1256 mg potassium, 253 mg calcium.

Some smart substitutions

  • To make this recipe with canned clams, use three 200 gram (7 ounce) cans clams, rinse very well and drain.
  • Manhattan Clam Chowder: Omit the milk. Add 500 millilitres (2 cups) no-salt-added diced tomatoes with liquid to Step 3 with the potatoes. Add 250 millilitres (1 cup) reduced-sodium chicken broth along with the tomatoes. Continue as directed above.

This lighter version of clam chowder uses a small amount of lean turkey bacon to add that smoky flavour. It is also made with reduced-fat milk whisked with a little flour to make the chowder authentically white, thick, rich and creamy, but surprisingly healthy. Give it a try tonight for a delicious meal that will quickly become a family favourite.

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