Rhode Island Clam Chowder

Total Time:
1 hr
20 min
40 min

4 servings

  • 24 quahog clams (about 8 pounds), scrubbed
  • 5 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for topping (optional)
  • Rinse the clams several times under cold running water. Transfer to a large pot and add 3 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then cover and cook until the clams open, about 8 minutes. Remove the clams with a slotted spoon and transfer to a deep bowl as they open; cover with plastic wrap so they don't dry out. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Wipe out the pot, then pour the strained broth back into the pot.

  • Meanwhile, put the bacon in a large skillet and cover with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook 10 minutes; drain, then return the bacon to the skillet. Add 1 tablespoon butter and cook until the bacon starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to the pot with the broth. Wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the onion and celery to the skillet and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.

  • Add the onion and celery mixture to the broth along with the potatoes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper.

  • While the potatoes are cooking, remove the clams from their shells and roughly chop.

  • Add the clams to the soup and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with chopped parsley.

  • Photograph by Kang Kim

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Healthy Weeknight Dinners