Ahhhh, Saturday at last. After a week of being sick and pregnant, and taking care of a sick toddler on top of that, it’s so nice to have the hubby home. To make things even more cozy, it’s pouring rain outside our little home in the country, and it seemed like the perfect setting for some hearty soup.
I was raised on clam chowder. It’s by far my favorite soup. Being from California and having grandparents from the bay area (my grandmother having taken professional cooking classes) and having sampled clam chowder in a San Francisco sour dough bread bowl….let’s just say I’m a clam chowder snob 😉 In my book there are a few things that it must have and in some cases NOT have.
For one, the flavor needs to actually resemble CLAM. I’ve tried chowders that leave out the clam juices (why! It’s CLAM chowder) or get carried away with the potatoes, corn and bacon resulting in corn chowder (which I really don’t care for) or potato soup.
I’ve wanted to attempt my own clam chowder recipe for ages but just haven’t gotten around to it for some reason. But now with the Christmas season upon us, and the chilly weather outside our door, the time has come. I always like my recipes to be simple and with as little processed ingredients as possible. This is what I came up with. And I’m gonna hold back humility….it is DAAAAANG good. Daniel couldn’t stop saying “wow!” That always makes a wife feel good.
The best part is you make it in a crock pot—-perfect for any mom or busy body.
What you need
4 red potatoes (unpeeled and chopped)
4 yellow potatoes (unpeeled and chopped)
(totaling approx. 5 cups or 2 lbs)
4 stalks celery (chopped)
1 c chopped yellow onion
2 large carrots (chopped)
3 tsp minced garlic
5, 6oz cans of clams with juices
6 strips bacon (thinly sliced)
2 c heavy cream
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp dry thyme leaves
2 tsp salt (can add more if desired)
2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional—but we LOVE the bite it gives)
2 Tbls corn starch
1 c water
Put all the vegetables, garlic, clams (w/their juices), water, bay leaves and spices in the crock pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. (I did high for 4 hours)
Cook the bacon in skillet and leave some out for topping if desired. You can add this immediately to the crock pot in the beginning or later. I added it after about an hour simply because I got caught up with a toddler taking care of mom duties 🙂
In separate bowl whisk together heavy cream and corn starch until the starch is well dissolved. After 4 hours or when veggies are soft, remove bay leaves and add cream mixture to the pot. Cook for another 30 minutes. Turn pot setting to warm and eat immediately or dip into it throughout the day.
Seriously hope you guys try and enjoy this! We’re probably going to make it again tomorrow per hubby’s request 🙂1