This is a hearty soup, much associated with Irish immigrants from Newfoundland to New England. It makes a great soup for those cold fall days when you want to chase the chill away. Add crusty bread and a salad for a complete meal.
12 large Quahog clams
6 cups water
2 tbsp unsalted Irish butter
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 medium onions, sliced
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
2 medium carrots,
1 large potato
1 large parsnip
1 large leek,
1 tbsp fresh thyme
6 tbsp heavy cream
- Wash the clams. Put the water in a large steamer an steam the clams open. Set the steamer aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and onions. Fry for a few minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the pepper and basil and stir using a wooden spoon.
- Chop the clams and fry for about 4 minutes, so the clams absorb the strong garlic flavor.
- Add 1/3 of the clam liquor from the steamer. Bring to a boil and reduce to a quietly bubbling simmer.
- Coarsely chop vegetables and add to saucepan. Add the reminder of the clam liquor. Bring to a boil and again reduce heat. Simmer quietly for an hour until vegetable are soft.
- Take the chowder off the heat, add the thyme and stir in the heavy cream. Serve immediately while hot. Serves 6 to 8 bowls.