Michael and I have tried to get in a trip away to the coast for a couple of months now. I need some clam chowder from The Tides at Bodega Bay. Standing between me and that chowder are forty chickens, four emus, two donkeys, two goats and an incubator full of eggs hatching over the next three weeks. I couldn't wait. I had to have clam chowder today. That meant I was going to have to make it myself. So, I did and it was delicious. Michael declared it better than the chowder at The Tides but I am not as certain. I haven't been to The Tides in years. I'll get there, but until I do I can make this. So can you. This soup is easy to make and so much better than canned soup.
- 2 6.5 oz cans chopped clams (not minced) plus juice
- 1 8 oz bottle clam juice
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 2 large Yukon gold potatoes (peeled and diced)
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 slices bacon (chopped fine)
- 2 TBS butter
- 1 rounded TBS flour
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- For garnish:
- Chopped chives
- Chowder crackers
- Drain the canned clams and set aside, saving the juice. Add the liquid drained from the clams and the bottled clam juice to a medium saucepan. Heat to a boil and add the chopped onion and diced potatoes. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are for tender and the liquid has reduced. Skim off and discard any foam the develops on top. Add the half and half and remove from heat. Cook the diced bacon in a small skillet until crispy. Remove the bacon and keep the bacon grease. Add the butter to the bacon grease and heat until the butter melts. Add the flour a bit at a time whisking constantly. Cook for one minute but do not allow the roux to brown. You want a light roux for this soup. Add the half and half to the soup pot and heat to a simmer. Add the roux to the soup and cook until thick. Add the chopped clams and bacon. Cook until the clams are heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with chopped chives and chowder crackers on top.