We have had a fantastic summer when it comes to the weather. There have been very few unbearably hot days with more days in the high 80s and cooler evenings. On a recent weekend, the temperature was perfect to enjoy some New England Clam Chowder on our porch. While there were plumes of smoke floating from neighbor's grills, it was nice to enjoy a comforting bowl of soup that is a staple in New England year-round. Traditional chowder is cream-based, I decided to lighten it up using whole milk. I have found that when a recipe calls for heavy cream, you can substitute quality whole milk (I love Ronnybrook Farm) and you will not even miss its heavier counterpart.
New England Clam Chowder
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
1 bay leaf
4 cups whole milk
3 cups clam juice, canned
Two 10 ounce cans cherrystone clams
salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Place olive oil, chopped celery, onion and garlic in the bottom of a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until mixture becomes translucent. Add potatoes, thyme, bay leaf, milk, clam juice and canned clams. Stir to combine. Cook for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. Serve with oyster crackers.
Serves 8 people (if serving in cups) or about 6 people (if serving in bowls)
*Photography & Styling by Alison