I love how filling and flavorful chowders can be. They also bring back good memories for me since they remind of the times when I lived in the States. I love the mix of flavors of the clams, smoked bacon, corn and potatoes. Some of my favorite things together in one bowl.
This recipe serves 3.
600grs of clams, scrubbed
7 slices of smoked bacon
Kernels of 2 corns on the cob or about 1 cup of frozen corn
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup of white wine
1 leek, finely sliced (white part and light green part only)
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
500gr of potatoes (not the kind for mashing), peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 ½ litter of vegetable stock
250ml of heavy cream
Pinch of onion powder
Fresh thyme leaves
Rinse the clams under cold water for a couple of minutes. Discard of any that are open and don’t close when you tap them.
Bring the stock to a simmer. Once it is simmering, add the clams and cook them until they open. This will only take a few minutes. Then remove the clams with a slotted spoon, discard of any that haven’t open and set them aside to cool down a bit.
In the meanwhile, transfer the stock to a large bowl. Be careful if there is a bit of sand left from the clams at the bottom, make sure if there is not to transfer it to the bowl.
Remove the clams from the shell and chop them. Keep them in the fridge until ready to use.
Cook the bacon slices in a large pan with no oil over medium heat. Cook until crispy and reserve the fat. Chop the bacon slices into small pieces and set it aside.
In a large saucepan, add the olive oil and bacon fat over medium heat. Add the leek and shallot. Cook for a few minutes while stirring until they become a bit transparent and soft. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the onion powder, celery salt and white wine. Stir until half of the wine has evaporated. Add the potatoes and the stock. Cook for about 25 minutes.
Add the cream and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Then add the corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes. Finally add the clams and let them warm up for an extra minute.
Adjust the salt to your liking.
Serve the chowder among 3 bowls. Sprinkle with the bacon pieces, chopped chives and a few fresh thyme leaves. Eat it with some crusty bread slices.