Clam chowder is serious business around here. I’ve been instructed to always make way more than necessary so there’s enough for seconds. And leftovers. It really is that good.
I love that I can make a whole pot for about the same price as one or two servings eating out. And I almost always prefer it homemade anyways.
As many good soups do, this clam chowder starts with a mirepoix. This just means diced onions, carrots, and celery. These three veggies, cooked in a little oil or butter, add such great flavor to soups and stews.
You’ll cook your mirepoix until the veggies are softened and just starting to brown. Flour is used next as a thickening agent. Then, the liquid, potatoes, and additional seasonings are added. It all comes together pretty quickly for having such a deep, rich flavor.
For this recipe, I didn’t give exact measurements for salt. Season little by little each step of the way and keep tasting and adjusting until you reach the level of saltiness that you prefer.
One of the most important things to remember about this recipe is not to overcook the clams! They just need to cook for the very last couple of minutes. You’ll have plenty of clam flavor infusing the chowder as it simmers since the juice from the clams is added earlier on. The last thing we want here is tough clams!
Lastly, for us, buttered sourdough toast is a must with clam chowder. I can’t stress this enough. I literally won’t make clam chowder unless we have sourdough bread to go with it! 🙂
If you love clam chowder as much as we do, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try!
The best clam chowder! Rich, creamy, and loaded with clams, potatoes, and veggies!
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 onion diced
- 1 tsp. Minced garlic
- 3 small-medium potatoes diced
- 3 6.5 oz. cans chopped clams, drained and liquid reserved
- ½ cup flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. Dried thyme
- ¼ cup cooked crumbled bacon or bacon bits
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook carrots, celery, and onion in butter until onions are cooked through. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Add garlic, stirring frequently for 1 minute.
Stir in flour and cook for another minute.
Add reserved clam juice, milk, cream, potatoes, and seasonings. I usually add about a teaspoon or two of salt here.
Cook on medium-low, stirring frequently, until thickened and potatoes are soft.
Taste and make sure to add enough salt.
Add clams and bacon and simmer about 2 more minutes.
Serve immediately with lots of buttered sourdough toast!