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I’ve never been too big a fan of Manhattan-Style Clam Chowder.  I prefer creamy soups to tomatoy-brothy soups, but I gotta’ tell you…I like this one.  I like this one a lot.  It’s loaded with vegetables, chunky and while there’s broth, it has a heap of flavor.  And you know, The Goddess is all about flavor.  In the autumn, in New England, you can purchase fresh, chopped clams in most supermarket seafood departments.  I could tell you that I purchase whole in-the-shell clams, open them and chop them up…yeah, I could tell you that.  But you know The Goddess well enough by now to know that’s flat-out a damn lie!  She isn’t going to do that for a chowder.  As I said, I prefer to purchase those already-shelled fresh clams, usually by the pint, when they are available.  But, I always keep a few cans of chopped clams ferreted away in the cupboard, just for those times when I have the “urge” for chowder.  Rest assured, we’re not going to go into The Goddess’s urges.  Anyway, I always have them in the cupboard, and I think most people would have pretty much everything that’s in here, in their larder, too.  I’ve always liked that word, “larder”.  It’s seems serious.  And homey.  Yet again, there’s digression…

Anyway, I just put everything, but the clams (the broth for the stove top version), the pesto, and the cheese, if you go that route, into a heavy-bottomed pan and simmer for about 45 minutes or so.  Then, stir in the clams and the additional broth, simmer for a couple of minutes and that’s pretty much all there is to it.  If you do the route of the slow cooker, which I sometimes do, then you probably won’t need to add the extra broth.  I don’t think I have a preference, stove top or slow cooker, in terms of flavor.  I usually decide, which option to use, depending on how my day is going to go.

Manhattan-Style Clam Chowder with Tomatoes and Corn

  • Servings: Makes about 3-4 servings
  • Difficulty: Moderately Easy
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  • a1 (14 ounce) undrained can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup clam, seafood or chicken broth
  • 6 mushrooms, chopped (about a good cup—see NOTE)
  • Kernels removed from 2 ears corn
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced (or 1 cup sliced leeks)
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic clove, grated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (optional—see NOTE)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch of ground cloves (very small pinch)
  • 3 (6 1/2 ounce) cans undrained chopped clams
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pesto, for service (optional)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese, for service (optional)

You may prepare this chowder on top of the stove, or in a slow cooker.

On top of the Stove—Put all the ingredients, except the clams, salt and pepper in a large heavy-bottomed pot.  Bring to the boil, cover and lower the heat to simmer.  Cook until the carrots and potatoes are just tender, about 45-60 minutes.  Add the clams and additional liquid; return to the  simmer and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat source; let stand, covered for at least 10 minutes.  Discard the bay leaf and taste; season if needed.

In a Slow-Cooker—Combine all ingredients except clams, salt and pepper in slow cooker.  Cover and cook 4-6 hours on LOW, adding clams during the last 30 minutes of cooking.  Discard the bay leaf and taste; season if needed.

Serve either version, with good bread or Sour Cream Cornbread and lots of black pepper and a dollop of pesto and cheese, if desired.

NOTE:  When I make this on top of the stove, I add one can of water with the tomatoes.  Then, when I add the clams, I add two extra cups of clam juice, water or seafood broth.  The additional liquid is usually unnecessary in the slow cooker, because a slow cooker generates much more liquid.  I like to sauté the mushrooms in 1-2 tablespoons of butter before adding them to the mixture.  It gives them depth of flavor and some nice color.  Instead of using the fresh basil, put a dollop of pesto on each bowl.

Manhattan-Style Clam Chowder with Tomatoes and Corn Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020.  All rights reserved.