Manhattan Clam Chowder

2 1/2 to 3 quarts finished sou
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound fresh slab bacon or fat back, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced, about 2 cups
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced, about 1 cup
  • 4 celery stalks, diced, about 1 cup
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup plum tomatoes, drained and crushed
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 russet potatoes (about 3/4 pound), cleaned, peeled, and diced
  • 2 dozen chowder clams steamed open, chopped, cleaned and their juices reserved
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • In a heavy bottomed soup pot, heat the olive oil, add the bacon or fat back and cook until its fat begins to render. Add the diced vegetables to the pot and sweat over low heat until wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the oregano, thyme, bay leaves, garlic, and cayenne and stir to combine. Add the crushed tomato and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for one hour. Add the potatoes and continue to simmer for another 1/2 hour. Stir in the chopped clams with their juice and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve hot, with chowder crackers and freshly grated horseradish as a garnish.

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