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(Cold Night in) Manhattan Clam Chowder

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This weekend was the start of a major weather change in Manhattan — after a long indian summer, it finally got really, really cold.  It even snowed on Sunday!  And last night, it was frigid.  What’s a girl to do but whip up a big pot of warm, delicious, homemade soup?

I have been craving Manhattan clam chowder for a week or two, pretty much nonstop.  And ironically, even in Manhattan, it’s a hard soup to find!  There’s a canned version by progresso, but I wanted the real thing.  I spent yesterday thinking about which ingredients to use, and whether I wanted to deal with live clams (no).  I’d love to make this again for a dinner party, and use clams in their shells, but since it was just for me, I didn’t want to put in the extra effort.

I highly recommend this soup — it’s easy to make (3o minutes or so, from start to finish) and incredibly delicious.  Get some big chunks of bread to dip into the broth, because really, isn’t that the best part of eating soup?

Manhattan Clam Chowder

1 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes (san marzano, if you can find them)
1 medium-size white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp olive oil
1 bottle clam juice
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4″ by 1″ slices
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ rounds
1 small baking potato, peeled and cubed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 can of clams, packed in water

1. In a large saucepan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender and slightly browned.
2. Pour clam juice into water. Pour liquid from the canned tomatoes in with the clam juice.
3. Add potato, green pepper, carrots, salt, paprika and pepper.
4. Cut tomatoes into about 4 slices per tomato (this is messy — it works best if you cut them over the saucepan, rather than on a cutting board. Wear an apron!). Add to soup.
5. Simmer 20 minutes, covered.
6. Add clams (including juice) and simmer an additional 5-7 minutes, covered. Ladle into bowls and serve!

Serves 4.