This clam chowder recipe is an adaptation of Gabrielle Hamilton’s from an article in The NY Times. Hers, I am sure, is delicious but contained way too much cream and oil for us. So I slimmed the recipe down to where it eats more like a Connecticut or Rhode Island clam chowder which is much more brothy and lacks the thick cream sauce.
The recipe only calls for 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. It is enough to give it a silky texture. I tried using twice the amount of half and half in the soup on Friday but it is actually better using the smaller amount of the real deal heavy cream.
Lightened clam chowder with optional crouton
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.