Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tribute to the 13 Colonies Part XI - Skinny New England Clam Chowder

My summer series is winding down.  I appreciate those of you who have written me who have enjoyed the regional variations on these recipes.  I'll be doing one more post, combining Delaware and Maryland either this weekend or early next week.  Then it's back to the old format where I post a variety of recipes.

Tonight we are traveling to New Hampshire.  New Hampshire has a long and interesting history in the founding of the US.  If you have the opportunity, read this Wiki.

I am told from friends who lived up there that New England clam chowder is a favorite in the state.  I have to admit, I am more of a fan of the red Manhattan chowder.  This version is lighter.  I recommend using the fat free half and half to create a thicker soup.  I've made the soup with 2% milk and it's perfectly fine, but it doesn't have as much body as it does when you use the half and half.

Makes two servings.


1 small russet potato, peeled and diced, about 1 cup
1 can chopped clams, 6.5 ounces, drained but juice reserved
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 cups fat free half and half
2 tablespoons cream cheese with chives, 1/3 less fat variety
Black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of Gumbo File
Fresh chopped chives


Add diced potato, clam juice and cold water and one tablespoon of the butter into a sauce or stock pot.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, about ten minutes until potatoes are just under fork tender. 

Mash a couple of the potatoes with the back of a fork to add thickness to the soup base. 

Add the half and half, cream cheese, pepper, salt, and remaining tablespoon of the butter.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, whisking to make sure that the mixture doesn't boil over or scold.  You should start to see the soup thicken.

Add the clams.  Pull the soup from the heat.  Cover and let stand for about three minutes. It will continue to thicken.

Pour the soup into crocks and top with paprika and Gumbo File.  Fresh chives are optional.

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