I know, I know…here we go – another soup recipe. But, the winters in Chicago are long, and soup is the perfect warm-up in the evening after coming home on the train and then walking the dog by the lake. Plus, if you spend the time to make one big pot of soup each week, you get plenty of good leftovers for lunches.
My friend Emily (who told me to start this blog in the first place), posted yesterday about Manhattan Clam Chowder. Of all the soups I’ve made, somehow I’ve never made clam chowder. Emily’s recipe looked especially good, and chock-full of veggies, so I knew I wanted to give it a try. And then sitting in my cube today, I just couldn’t get the thought of Emily’s chowder out of my head…and so I took a long lunchtime walk to the Whole Foods in the Loop to get the clams and clam juice that I’d need for the soup. I had a bunch of orphan veggies in the crisper, too, so I tossed in whatever I had on hand into the pot – this soup has a little zing, and a thick tomato and broth base, so it can take whatever you add to the mix.
Manhattan Clam Chowder
adapted from Epicurious + Emily’s Inspirations + a few additions by Jenn
2 pieces of bacon
1 T olive oil or bacon fat
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1 28 oz can stewed tomatoes, crushed by hand.
16 oz clam juice
2 cups chicken stock
2 cans of minced clams, drained – liquid reserved
14 oz tomato sauce
2 red potatoes, diced
3 jalepenos, seeded and diced
2 poblano peppers, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
Salt and pepper
1 tsp cumin
big handful of cilantro to garnish
- In a large soup pot, saute bacon over medium heat until brown. Add 1 T of additional bacon fat (or olive oil), onion, carrot, celery, garlic, jalepenos, poblano, bell pepper, cumin, bay leaf and thyme and cook until veggies begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes with their juices, clam juice, chicken broth, tomato sauce, potato, and chiles. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Add drained clams with and heat through. If the soup needs more liquid, add some of the reserved liquid from the canned clams. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cilantro just before serving.
166 calories per serving, 35 calories from fat, 4g fat, 20mg cholesterol, 720mg sodium, 390mg potassium, 21g carbs, 4g fiber, 10g sugar, 11g protein