Clam Chowder Recipe

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Avatar Author's default profile picture Team Modified: January 24, 2022
Clam Chowder Recipe

Especially in North America, people love to eat chowder at this time of year. When I put it on the menus of my restaurants, we always sell every last drop. The thick, chunky soup really satisfies and chases the chill — just as anyone who knows French might guess from the name, which comes from chaud, meaning warm.

How To Make Clam Chowder

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A delicious, traditional, cream-based chowder that will satisfy your soup cravings.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 hr 20 mins
Total: 1 hr 40 mins



  • 1 loaf sourdough bread, crusts removed, cubed
  • regular extra-virgin olive oil, or garlic-flavored extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Bouquet Garni:

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 20 whole black peppercorns


  • 2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ lb. littleneck clams, cleaned
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 oz. smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced, or 1/2 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inner stalks celery, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Pinch cayenne
  • cup heavy cream
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


To make the croutons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Put the bread cubes in a large bowl and drizzle with just enough oil to coat them lightly and evenly.

  3. Sprinkle with the parsley, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss well.

  4. Spread them evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until crispy and golden brown, about 10 minutes.

  5. Set aside to cool.

  6. If not using immediately, store in an airtight container at room temperature.

To assemble a bouquet garni:

  1. Place the thyme and parsley sprigs, garlic cloves, and peppercorns in the center of a square of cheesecloth large enough to hold them comfortably; then, gather up the corners and tie securely with kitchen string to make a neat bundle.

To make the chowder:

  1. In a large saucepan, put the wine, water, and bouquet garni.

  2. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

  3. Add the clams, cover with a lid, and cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes.

  4. Strain the clams through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a bowl, reserving both the cooking liquid and the clams.

  5. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
  6. When the oil is hot enough to swirl easily, add the bacon and sauté until crispy, 3-4 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, and sauté, stirring continuously, for 1 minute more.
  8. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds.
  9. Add the celery and carrot and sauté, stirring frequently, until tender, 5-7 minutes.
  10. Stirring continuously, sprinkle the flour into the pan to make a loose paste, adding a little more oil if the mixture seems dry.
  11. Do not let the paste brown.
  12. Stirring continuously, immediately pour the strained clam liquid into the pan.
  13. Add 1 fresh thyme sprig.
  14. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil, adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
  15. Add the potato, milk, lemon juice, and cayenne and continue simmering until the potato is tender, 10-15 minutes.
  16. Meanwhile, pull the clams from their shells and roughly chop them.
  17. When the potato is tender, return the clams to the pan, add the cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper, stirring well.
  18. Continue simmering until the clams are heated through, 3-5 minutes more.
  19. Ladle the chowder into heated serving bowls.
  20. Garnish each bowl with croutons.
  21. Serve immediately.


  • Sugar: 6g
  • :
  • Calcium: 158mg
  • Calories: 589kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 69g
  • Cholesterol: 61mg
  • Fat: 14g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Iron: 6mg
  • Potassium: 518mg
  • Protein: 31g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 1194mg
  • Vitamin A: 2269IU
  • Vitamin C: 11mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
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