I have talked about this clam chowder before, how it is low in calories, quick and easy to make, and delicious. But did you realize that you can make it from pantry and staple refrigerator items? Here is the recipe. An even simpler take on this dish is after the recipe.
CLAM CHOWDER WITH CROUTON. Serves 3-4
Adapted from a recipe by Gabrielle Hamilton
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 ribs of celery, minced
2 leeks, dark, woody green parts removed, ¼” coins
10 ounces golden new potatoes, medium dice
2 sprigs thyme, picked
2 sprigs tarragon
6 ounces dry white wine
2 bottles/16 ounces clam juice
Juice from 2 cans chopped clams (~8 oz.)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons heavy cream
12 ounces chopped clams (2 cans, reserved liquid, see above)
3-4 slices hearty bread, toasted
In the Dutch oven, heat the olive oil, and add onion, celery, leeks, potatoes, tarragon, and thyme, stirring to coat. Season with salt, and cook over low heat until the vegetables have just started to soften, taking care not to brown, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with white wine and then add the clam juice and reserved clam liquid. Simmer until potatoes are al dente.
Stir in the cream, and simmer until vegetables are cooked through, taking care not to boil. Add the chopped clams, and season to taste with salt and ground black pepper. Remove from heat.
Toast the bread until golden, and place each piece in a bowl. Add a ladleful of chowder around the toast. Add another ladleful partially covering toast.
Here is how to make it even simpler. A leek is from the onion family so you can just use more onion if you have no leeks. If you are lacking fresh herbs then you can use a little from your spice rack. Milk can take the place of cream. Any type of potato cut up will do. John has suggested that we always keep some chopped clams (they are near the canned tuna) and a couple of bottles of clam juice (also by the canned tuna) in our pantry and we will never be without the means of making at least a near approximation of this delicious soup.