Chopped clams, aromatic vegetables and creamy potatoes blended with low-fat milk and just a half cup of cream gives this chunky New England-style clam chowder plenty of rich body. Serve with oyster crackers and a tossed salad to make it a meal.
Prep Time 45 min
Total Time 45 min.
2 teaspoons canola oil
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 medium red potato, diced
1 8-ounce bo clam juice, (see Makeover Tip)
1 bay leaf
3 cups low-fat milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces fresh clam strips, (see Shopping Tip), chopped, or 3 6-ounce cans chopped baby clams, rinsed
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer half of the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. Add onion, celery and thyme to the pan; cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add potato, clam juice and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Whisk milk, cream, flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add to the pan and return to a simmer, stirring, over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add clams and cook, stirring occasionally, until the clams are just cooked through, about 3 minutes more.
To serve, discard bay leaf. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with some of the reserved bacon and scallions.