One of the best American classics that many of us typically order as our starter in a restaurant would be the New England Clam Chowder. How can anyone resist the silky, rich chowder based upon simple and wholesome ingredients? We wanted to make our own version that incorporates all of this, except we wanted to make it healthier by eliminating heavy cream. We used a combination of half-and-half and low-fat milk to create this comforting bowl of clam chowder, which was a perfect dinner idea with the cooler weather we’re having.
Start by mincing 2 slices of bacon and cooking it until lightly crisp. Then add 1 diced medium onion and 2 stalks of diced celery to the soup pot.
Meanwhile, dice 4 yellow or white potatoes.
One of the key components to making clam chowder is clam juice, which you can buy at your local supermarket. You only need 2.5 cups of clam juice for this recipe.
In the pot, add 2 tbsp all-purpose flour which will help thicken the soup. Then whisk in the clam juice and bring to a simmer. Next, add the potatoes and simmer until tender. We also added 1 bay leaf for added flavor (optional).
When the potatoes are tender, add 2 cups of half-and-half and 1 cup of low-fat milk (that's all we had on hand!). Let the soup simmer and reduce for about 30 minutes until the consistency is thicker.
Once the soup has the right thickness, add 12 oz of baby clams (you can get this frozen, or use fresh ones). Next, stir in 3 tbsp of dry sherry and season with salt, pepper, Tabasco sauce, and Worcestershire until you are satisfied with the taste.
We couldn't resist throwing in some oyster crackers, too! If you have any bread on hand, now's the time to toast it and dip with your clam chowder. You will feel a lot better eating this healthier version! On another note: This recipe makes 8 servings, and sadly to say, we almost finished the entire pot between 3 people. *sigh*
To view or print-out this recipe, click here: A Healthier New England Clam Chowder