Creamy New England Clam Chowder

    50 minutes

    This rich, creamy American soup is all that you'd want a chowder to be—hearty with potatoes and chunky with lots of plump, juicy clams. It's substantial enough to make a meal on its own.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 1kg clams in the shell, scrubbed
    • 2 cups (500ml) water
    • 4 low fat bacon rashers, cut into 1cm pieces
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 2 tablespoons plain flour
    • 500g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
    • 2 cups (500ml) low fat milk
    • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 bay leaf
    • pinch of cayenne pepper
    • pepper, to taste
    • fresh flat leaf parsley, to garnish

    Preparation:20min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:50min 

    1. Put the clams and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes or until the clams open (discard any that remain stubbornly closed). Transfer the clams with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Strain the clam stock, adding water to make 350ml, if necessary; set aside. Wipe out the saucepan.
    2. Lightly coat the saucepan with cooking spray and set over a medium heat. Add the bacon and onion, then sauté for 7 minutes or until the onion is golden. Sprinkle in the flour, then cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until bubbling but not browned.
    3. Add the potatoes, milk, reserved clam stock, thyme, bay leaf and cayenne pepper to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender (do not allow to boil).
    4. Meanwhile, remove the clams from their shells and cut into bite-sized pieces, if necessary. Stir the clams into the chowder and cook for a further 2 minutes or until heated through. Discard the bay leaf. Ladle into bowls, season with pepper and garnish with parsley.

    Some more ideas…

    • Omit the milk and instead use 1 tin (400 g) no-salt-added chopped tomatoes and 1 cup (250 ml) salt-reduced chicken stock.
    • If fresh clams aren't available you can use 1 tin (about 200 g) of clams. Drain, rinse very well to remove the salty brine and drain again before use.

    Health points

    This lighter version of clam chowder is made with low-fat milk whisked with a little flour rather than with cream. This gives the chowder an authentic flavour without the fat.

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