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Manhattan Clam Chowder
A delicious Saturday evening meal for any time of year, this Manhattan version of clam chowder features tomatoes instead of milk. Pair with a crusty chunk of bread and a pint of pale ale or glass of white wine. Makes 4 main-dish or 6 to 8 side-dish servings

1 pint shucked clams or two 6-1/2-ounce cans minced clams
4 slices bacon
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper
1/2 cup chopped red sweet pepper
1/4 cup chopped carrots
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 14-1/2-ounce can tomatoes, cut up
2 cups finely chopped peeled potatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons snipped parsley

Chop shucked clams, reserving juice; set aside. Strain clam juice to remove bits of shell. (Or, drain canned clams, reserving juice.) If necessary, add water to reserved juice to equal 1-1/2 cups. Set aside.

In a large saucepan cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble. Set bacon aside.

Cook onion, celery, green pepper, red sweet pepper, carrots, and shallots in reserved bacon drippings until tender. Stir in reserved clam juice, undrained tomatoes, potatoes, chicken broth, basil, ground red pepper, and ground black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in clams. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Sprinkle each serving with cooked bacon and parsley.

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