Rhode Island clam chowder is similar to New England clam chowder but is brothier. I used only 2 tablespoons of cream in a fairly large pot of soup. You may be thinking that this is the poor relation of its creamier cousin but it is full of flavor and a healthier choice. I make it with minced canned clams and bottled clam juice so it is a snap to make. Recipe below.
When she saw that I was making clam chowder, our wonderful baker daughter made us a loaf of sourdough bread to have with it. Just the smell of baking bread makes me ecstatic. The sesame seeds on the crust are so delicious. Needless to say we ate almost the whole loaf and I will pay for it at the scale. Sigh.
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 the toast and serve.