Clam Chowder

It’s officially winter, and what better way to stay warm than with home made soup, especially a chowder.  I absolutely love New England style clam chowder (none of that Manhattan goop for me!), so with that in mind… enjoy.

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely sliced leek (white or light green parts only)
3 cups diced red potato, about ½-inch pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
4 to 5 pounds fresh clams in shell
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 quarts heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Fresh chive blossoms or minced fresh chives, for garnish

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, shallot, leek and potato, and cook, stirring constantly, until the leek is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, clams and add the wine. Continue to cook, scraping any flavoring from the bottom of the pan, until the wine is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the cream, thyme and parsley, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and continue to cook until the clams are opened and the potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Taste and season as desired with salt and pepper.

This makes about 3 quarts soup. Garnish each serving with 2 chive blossoms or a sprinkling of minced fresh chives.

Serves 10-12

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