I’m pretty sure by now you’ve figured out I LOVE soup. I seriously make it at least 2 times a week and could eat it daily. It’s usually quite healthy, simple to make and a great fridge cleaner. Also, I love to warm up a bowl of soup for lunch while I’m working from home.
Clam chowder is one that intimidated me. I thought canned clams would have an awful taste and be super expensive. Guess what? This soup is SO easy and the clams are in the same price range as tuna! Go figure. I wanted to lighten up the recipe a bit by using whole milk, instead of heavy cream and the big show stopper is the crispy pancetta. Of course, you can use bacon, but I have found chopped pancetta is available at most supermarkets now–I picked mine up at Aldi!
Pancetta is just like bacon, but not smoked. Since it can be quite salty, I suggest waiting to salt the soup until it’s finished. Between the oyster crackers and pancetta, you might not even need it!
Creamy Clam Chowder with Pancetta
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 1 onion chopped (1 cup)
- 1 tsp thyme fresh or dried
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups diced red potatoes skin on
- 3 ribs celery sliced and chopped
- 3 cans clams 6.5 ounces
- 2 cups clam juice
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup flour
- Pepper to taste
- Garnish- oyster crackers parsley
Drain clams, reserving 2/3 cups of clam juice.
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until crispy. Remove pancetta from pan and place on a paper towel, for later.
Add onion, celery, garlic and thyme to pan. Cook 3-4 minutes, until softened.
Increase heat to medium-high and add reserved clam juice, potato, bottled clam juice and bay leaf. Heat to boil, then reduce heat to medium low to cook potatoes, about 8-9 minutes.
In a medium pourable measuring cup or bowl, whisk whole milk and flour until smooth. Slowly add to the pot, stirring constantly. Chowder will thicken in 4-5 minutes.
Add minced clams and season with pepper. (See note about salt) Heat 2-3 minutes, until clams are heated.
Serve in bowls, topping with oyster crackers, pancetta and parsley.
As noted in blog post, refrain from salting the soup until tasting. The oyster crackers and pancetta have a salty taste, so it's really not needed--I promise![br][br]If you prefer to use bacon, just substitute 4 slices of bacon. Adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine.
What’s your favorite soup? Have you ever tried to make Clam Chowder?
This post is sponsored by Milk Means More. As I mentioned before, I have a new partnership with the United Dairy of Michigan and their Milk Means More program. I am so excited to share some tasty dairy filled recipes with you all. As always, all opinions are my own.