Manhattan Clam Chowder (serves 4 +)
For years I have been under the (false) impression that Manhattan Clam Chowder is difficult to make. Partly because I am nervous of cooking fresh clams, mussels, etc. in case I give anyone food poisoning and apparently food poisoning from these types of shellfood is particularly bad. For years I much preferred New England Clam Chowder with all its milk/cream and thick consistency. The first time I tasted it was at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco back in 1978. I loved it so much I had it as an appetizer for the remainder of the vacation if it was on the menu! Obviously, New England Clam Chowder is a no-no for me now so I have changed allegiance. I make my Manhattan Clam Chowder with canned clams and add a little bit of fire to it by using V8 Juice (Spicy Low Sodium brand). I was so happy with the way it turned out that I have (immodestly) described it as restaurant quality.
The base of the soup is like many others – onion, garlic, carrots, celery and potatoes. Make sure the carrots, celery and potatoes are cut into same size pieces and small. I used new potatoes as they don’t go mushy. Cook the veg. until they are just tender but still have a little crunch. With the V8 and the clam juice being quite salty, wait until the end to see if you need salt and freshly ground black pepper.
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 oz carrots, celery and onion – diced into small pieces
1 large clove garlic – minced
Pinch of Herbes de Provence
16 fl. oz clam juice (Bar Harbor brand)
12 fl. oz V8 (spicy hot, low sodium brand)
2 x 10oz cans clams, including the juice (Flora Fine Foods brand)
Put the olive oil in a cast iron casserole dish.
When hot add onion and garlic and soften a little.
Then add carrots, celery and Herbes de Provence.
Cook until just tender.
Pour in the clam juice, V8, canned clams and their juice.
Bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.