Manhattan Clam Chowder
Gourmet Soups, Stews, & Bisques
There's an ongoing debate about which is best: cream-based New England clam chowder or tomato-based Manhattan clam chowder, which actually orginated in Rhode Island, where Portuguese immigrants started adding tomatoes to the mix. We make and love both versions. This recipe, with crumbled bacon, fennel, garlic, white wine, and plenty of juicy tomatoes, definitely gives New England-style chowder a run for its money!
4 slices bacon (4 ounces)
1 large onion, diced
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, with their juices, chopped
1 1/2 ounces Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold® dissolved in 4 cups hot water
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
24 small hard-shelled clams, scrubbed well
1 pound chopped shucked clams or canned minced clams, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and ground black pepper
In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until it is browned and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside.
Leaving the rendered bacon fat in the pot, add the onion and fennel and sauté them over medium heat until they're tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the thyme and cook another minute.
Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, the diluted Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold®, and the wine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer for 10 more minutes, until the potatoes are just tender enough to be pierced with a fork.
Add the hard-shelled clams to the pot, cover it, and simmer for 6-10 minutes, untll the clams open. Remove the clams from the pot and set aside, discarding any clams that don't open after 10 minutes.
Crumble the bacon and add it to the pot along with the chopped shucked clams and the parsley. Simmer 2-3 minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the chowder among serving bowls and place the cooked clams in their shells on top.