Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Clam Chowder

For the past 25 years or so, it has been a tradition on the Haynes side to make this Clam Chowder every Christmas Eve.  The ingredients and measurements have never been written down till today.  Every year my grandma made this and every year my dad made this it was from memory.  Funny, today while I was making it my house smelled like Christmas Eve to me.  Good memories!  These recipe portions are for 6 people.  When my dad makes this soup, he uses a gallon of milk and feeds 20 people. So you can definitely double or triple this recipe and make enough to feed everyone.  There is no low calorie version of this soup...maybe that's why we only have it once a year!

4 slices of bacon
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp old bay
1 cup clam juice
1 cup chicken stock
4 cups of potatoes, bite size cubes
1 quart of whole milk (4 cups)
2 cups half & half
3 - 6.5oz cans of chopped clams
1/3 cup of flour
fresh sourdough bread
soup crackers

Chop the bacon up and place in hot stock pot to cook.  Bacon should be crispy but not burnt.  Remove bacon pieces.  Leave bacon grease.  Add 1 Tbsp of butter to the grease.  Add celery and onion to the butter mix.  Saute for 4 mins.  Add minced garlic and saute for 1 min.  Add salt, pepper, old bay (my idea, ingredient is not from the orignal recipe) and parsley to coat vegetables.  Add 1 cup of clam juice, 1 cup chicken stock and juice from the clams in a can. Bring to a boil.  Add potatoes, cover and boil for 25 mins. Soup broth will just cover the potatoes.

Once potatoes are cooked add milk and half and half.  Stir altogether.  Before the milk mixture gets warm scoop out 1 cup of broth into a shaker jar.  Add 1/3 cup of flour to the milk mix.  In the shaker jar shake milk and flour together to make a thickening rue.  Once there are no lumps add back to the soup.  Add the chopped clams and crumbled bacon to the stock pot.  Stir and simmer on low for 10-15 mins. till everything is blended and hot.  Soup will thicken slowly.  Make sure to serve this with fresh sourdough bread and or soup crackers. 

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