In this light clam chowder recipe, traditional heavy cream is replaced with milk and flour-thickened clam juice, resulting in a creamy, satisfying chowder that isn't quite so heavy.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups clam juice or seafood stock
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 cups diced white potatoes
- 1 16-ounce container chopped fresh clams (plus their liquid), thawed if frozen
- Chopped cooked bacon for garnish
- Snipped chives for garnish
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 3 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle flour, thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add clam juice (or seafood stock) and milk; bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly.
- Stir in potatoes and bring just to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Add clams and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve topped with bacon and chives, if desired.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS
- Check the label carefully when using clam juice because the sodium can vary dramatically among different brands.
- Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days, slowly reheat over medium-low or microwave on Medium power.