Monday, April 8, 2013

Clam Chowder

When I was about twenty-three I took a week long trip to San Francisco.  I immediately fell in love with that glorious part of our country.  The wharf, the trolleys, the funky winding roads, I couldn't get enough.  And of course, one thing I got plenty of, besides truckloads of Ghirardelli chocolate, was lots of creamy clam chowder.  Sitting in an outside cafe, right next to the water and a slab of barking seals, eating fresh clam chowder out of a sour dough bread bowl was about as close to heaven as it's going to get for me!
And while this isn't being eaten out of a homemade sour dough bowl, it's still pretty delicious and definitely reminds me of my blissful week in the Bay Area.  A rich, creamy, chowder chock full of all you love about clam chowder, with less calories.  Bacon, potatoes, lots of clams, and a thick broth, which has a slight and delightful sweetness thanks to the white wine.

For the bread bowl, since I just didn't have it in me to bake me own, I just hollowed out a store bought kaiser roll.  It actually held up very nicely and made the perfect amount to feel warm and satisfied.  My kids also thought being served out of a roll was the coolest thing ever!

Clam Chowder
Adapted from The New Way to Cook Light


1 1/2 cups chopped onion, divided
1/2 cup unoaked chardonnay (I used white wine)
1 (8 oz) bottle clam juice
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon butter
1 slice bacon, chopped
3 cups diced red potato
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup half and half (I used fat-free)
3/4 cup reduced fat milk
2 cans chopped clams
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 teaspoon chopped thyme


1.  Combine 1/2 cup onion, wine, and next 2 ingredients (through bay leaf) in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil.  Cover and cook 2 minutes; strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl, reserving cooking liquid.

2.  Wipe pan clean.  Melt butter in pan.  Add bacon to pan; saute 3 minutes.  Stir in remaining 1 cup onion, potato, celery and red pepper; saute 4 minutes.  Stir in flour; cook 1 minute.  Stir in cooking liquid and 1/3 cup water; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in clams, half-and-half and milk; cook 1 minute or until heated.  Stir in herbs.


Shobha said...

Wow.. looks so nice.

Blond Duck said...

I've always wanted to have clam chowder. Are clams shellfish?

Lynn said...

You had me at "clam chowder" but adding the white wine just puts it over the top. I'm impressed you make your own soup! You go, girl.

Barbara said...

I've always thought it looked so cool to serve soup (or dips) in a bread bowl, but worried it wouldn't hold up. Glad to hear it does. I've always loved clam chowders, but only the New England type and not the red Manhattan. This looks yummy, Teresa.

Pam said...

Looks like heaven in a bread bowl to me. YUM!

Anonymous said...

I hope to make it to California some day - the furthest west I've been is Austin Texas!

Not a fan of clams though - but it looks delicious. My store recently started selling bread bowls for $1!

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Mary Bergfeld said...

I love your lighter version of the chowder. It really looks delicious. have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Joanne said...

I love chowder and my favorite part is definitely when you're left with the bread soaking up all that creaminess at the end!

Reeni said...

Such a great idea to use a kaiser roll! I love that it has white wine in it too makes it extra delicious!

Angie's Recipes said...

This is so mouthwatering! Thick chowder dripping flowing all over the bread bowl...irresistible!

Cathy said...

Clam chowder is my favorite soup and I love it served in a bread bowl. Makes me hungry just looking at it. Did you know that Panera Bread has very sturdy bread bowls for sale. They hold a lot of soup and stay intact. Have a great weekend, Teresa.

Val said...

This New England girl loves this recipe.

Barbara Bakes said...

My son likes to make a bread bowl out of rolls any time we have soup. He'd love one filled with your clam chowder.

Jocelyn said...

That is one awesome looking soup! One day I hope to get out to San sounds like a wonderful place to see!!!

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wow. I'm going to make this tonight!

Unknown said...

I wouldn't use half and half. It comes out really thin that way. It may be healthy but not worth it. Use cream.

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Anna said...

Wow! It looks delicious. My son enjoys it. I will try doing! Thanks! healthoop

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