I was at a loss as to what to have for dinner last night. It was a Friday night. Normally, I always want Tex-Mex and margaritas on Friday night but it didn't see to mesh well with my father-in-law's visit. In addition, it was on the cool side and cloudy yesterday. Perfect day for a hot bowl of soup. Johnnycakes, a major soup lover, and I had been discussing for some time making a clam chowder with some frozen clams we had picked up at the Asian grocery, H-Mart (a post unto itself!). He was leaning on a creamy New England Clam Chowder while I was favoring the Manhattan Clam Chowder for it's healthier appeal. Since Johnnycakes was fiddling with our new grill (summer cookouts await) last night with his dad and our neighbor, I won the debate.
Here is the yummy and delightful chowder I concocted:
16 oz. bag of frozen mini clams (not sure of the exact kind)
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium potatoes, diced
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 4 oz container of tomato paste ( I think that was size can)
12 oz. chicken stock (homemade)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp. crushed bay leaves
1 tsp. Old Bay
1 TBSP. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Heat stockpot with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add celery, onion, carrots, and potatoes and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock and spices and let simmer for 40 minutes. Add thawed clams and simmer 10 more minutes.
This was a delicious! It was a little difficult to time the potatoes and carrots until they were soft. The clams were mostly thawed when I added them and they softened right up. I'm not the best soup maker but I'm trying to get better since Johnnycakes is such a big fan. We enjoyed the warm bowls of soup with hard white dinner rolls. Oh, and we grated some fresh Parmesan on top for a little extra kick. Not too shabby for a Friday night dinner at home!