I’ve always been a tomato based soup person. Gary on the other hand has always been a cream based soup person. Needless to say, he loved New England clam chowder, whereas I would favor Manhattan clam chowder.
Well, since Gary no longer eats dairy, it worked in my favor. I get to make my favorite version of clam chowder, and he ends up eating it! He probably still misses the cream based version, but until I find a way to make a dairy free version, this will be the clam chowder I will be making most of the time.
I had a few adaptations based on what I had on hand. I used clams in pouches instead of cans, regular potatoes instead of red, and turkey bacon.
3 slices turkey bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil (use if not enough drippings)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped carrot (1 small)
2 (3.53-oz) pouches of whole baby clams, juice reserved plus water to make 1 cup
1 8-ounce bottle clam juice or 1 cup chicken broth
3 large potatoes, cubed
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
Separate clams from juice, add enough water to reserved clam juice to equal 1 cup. Set aside.
In a large saucepan cook bacon until crispy. Remove from oil and reserve drippings. Chop into pieces and set aside. Add celery, onion, and carrot in bacon drippings (or oil) until tender.
Stir in the reserved 1-1/2 cups clam juice and the 8 ounces clam juice. Stir in potatoes, thyme, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Bring to boiling then reduce heat. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, clams, and bacon. Return to a boil then reduce heat. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through.