My Mothers Manhattan Clam Chowder was a staple in our home growing up. To ensure that the clams were fresh, my Father would go clamming in the bay, soak the clams to get rid of the sand then open them. You can easily taste the difference between fresh and canned clams.
I do not go clamming anymore but I do ask the local fish market to open the clams for me. Hopefully, you can find the same in your area. If you do make sure they save the juice. I usually order the clams ahead of time so that they have time to prepare them. I pick up the clams the same day I make the soup. I store the clams in the refrigerator until I am ready to use them
Nanny’s Clam Chowder Recipe
Ingredients for Nanny’s Manhattan Clam Chowder
6 slices of bacon cut into 1/2 inch slices.
1 large onion. I use 1/2 Vidalia onion and 1/2 large Red onion
6 stalks of celery finely minced
6 carrots finely minced
5 potatoes, finely cut. 2 of the potatoes should be placed in a food processor or chopper, it will help thicken the soup.
1 28 oz can of crushed Marzano tomatoes
2 28 oz can of peeled whole Marzano tomatoes
2 tablespoons of thyme
4 bay leaves
Pepper to taste
9 cups of Clam juice. Figure 3 cups for every dozen chowder clams that are used. If you have extra juice, set it aside in the refrigerator. Canned or jarred Clam juice can also be added but is usually not necessary.
3 dozen chowder clams. Chowder clams are the large ones. Finely chop, grind or place them in a food processor.
Directions for Nanny’s Manhatten Clam Chowder
Cook the chopped bacon in the soup pan. There is no need to drain the fat.
Add onion, celery, and carrots -do not allow the vegetables to brown.
Stir until the onions should turn translucent.
Add the 3 cans of tomatoes
Add the clam juice.
Add the potatoes. I do not peel the skin off but I will remove the skins if they float to the top.
Add the thyme and pepper. Tip you may need to add more thyme. It is always better to start off slow then add more as the soup cooks. It is also a personal preference, I like a lot of thyme in my clam chowder.
Simmer for a minimum of 5 hours. The longer you cook the soup, the thicker the soup will get. Check the potatoes to make sure they fall apart with a fork.
The whole tomatoes should also fall apart with a fork as well.
Remember to remove the bay leaves.
When the soup is still hot add the clams and turn the flame off.
Slowly stir the clams, you will see them change color. The clams will go from whitish gray to a beige color. The clams will cook in less than 5 minutes.
Tips for Nanny’s Manhattan Clam Chowder
Use a minimum of 9 cups of clam juice. If you have extra clam juice you can put it in. You can never put too much clam juice in the soup. I have used up to 14 cups of clam juice, the picture at the top has 14 cups. The more clam juice you use, the less red the soup will be.
You do not want to boil the soup or have it too high once the clams have been added. Clams can become tough.
You can reheat the soup but it should be done slowly on lower flames.
The soup can be frozen but remember to use a low flame to heat the soup rather than use a high flame which can cause the clams to become tough.
Soup should be stored in the refrigerator and used with 3 days or you could freeze the soup.
Best wishes, let ms know how you made out.
Restuarants never sem to make it the same.
Do you have any favorite recipes that were staples in your home?