New England Clam Chowder – a very simple version with a lighter broth
I spent a lot of time with my grandparents as a child. And my grandpa (with Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry) was one of those can-do guys (carpenter, fisherman, etc.) and because they lived on the coast, he sometimes took us clamming. Afterwards my grandma would make a big pot of New England clam chowder.
The recipe (below) is my version of what she used to make. Because our family likes a lighter chowder I use whole milk instead of cream and small red potatoes. I also do it all in just one pan—a heavy cast iron/enamel pot. And since we didn’t have luck clamming, I’m using canned clams (which work just fine!). And this time (because we’re celebrating my granddaughter’s eleventh birthday at our beach cabin) she’s helping me to make it (that’s her in the photos).
- Four 6.5 oz cans of chopped clams
- 1.5 lb small red potatoes (cubed)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ½ pound good bacon
- ½ cube butter
- 1½ cup milk
- Salt & pepper (or a seafood seasoning salt) to taste
- In soup pot:
- Brown chopped bacon
- Add chopped onion to bacon and cook until clear
- Add the clam juice (drained from the cans)
- Add cubed potatoes and enough water to cover them
- Add pinch of salt & pepper (with canned clams you need very little salt)
- Bring to a boil then simmer (covered) about twenty minutes
- After twenty minutes—when potatoes are tender:
- Add drained clams
- Add milk
- Add butter
- Heat until soup is pre-simmer then cook another ten minutes
- About four servings (add pad of butter on top). Great with crusty sourdough bread!
Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops). Her young adult series (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her most recent Amish release is Trading Secrets released October 21st. Her latest release is Once Upon a Summertime.
She’s won a number of awards including Romantic Time’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion.
Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband.
Purchase Melody’s books here.