Saturday, February 21, 2009

New England Clam Chowder with Thyme Crackers

I can't think of a better way to end a busy week than with a bowl of rich, creamy soup & lots of crunchy homemade crackers.
Clam Chowder & Thyme Crackers
We decided to make a classic version of clam chowder so we went to our source for so many things, Joy of Cooking. Joy has you make your own stock from fresh clams but we've changed the recipe to make it Friday night easy by using clam stock in a box & clams in a can. I don't think we lost any flavor with these shortcuts especially since Kitchen Basic stocks are so good. We both thought the soup tasted really, really good but Matt would have liked it to be a little thicker & would have added some flour in with the butter to achieve that. I, on the other hand, thought it was just creamy enough & needed no thickening at all.
#51 - Crackers
To go with the soup I made some Thyme Crackers. I used the Lavish Cracker recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice which was the Daring Bakers challenge last September. I made half a batch of the dough & added 1 T of fresh thyme to the dough as it was mixed. Once the dough was rolled out for crackers I sprinkled kosher salt on top. These crackers are really easy to make, especially if you have a mixer with a dough hook. I need to remember to make them more often we like them so much & the flavoring possibilities are endless. They were the perfect accompaniment for the chowder.

New England Clam Chowder
(adapted from Joy of Cooking)

2 strips bacon, diced
1 medium onion, peeled & chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 T fresh thyme
1 T unsalted butter
8 oz clam stock
1 large russet potato, peeled & cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 c heavy cream
6.5 oz canned clams, chopped
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
freshly ground black pepper

Cook the bacon until just beginning to crisp over medium heat in a soup pot. Add the onion, bay leaf, thyme & butter. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the clam stock & potato & bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer & cook until the potato is tender, about 15 minutes.

Add cream & clams and simmer 5 more minutes. Stir in parsley and pepper to taste.

2 main course servings

15 comments:

Lisa said...

The soup looks so delicious but even better with homemade crackers.

kristin said...

I'm making clam chowder this week too! We love the Williams Sonoma Bride and Groom's recipe! Yum!

Elra said...

I wonder how many people out there who never had, or don't like clam chowder. Seriously, I think they don't know what they are missing (I'm referring to my husband here). My son and I love this creamy soup, and we like to tease my husband that he really need to give another try for this humble soup.

I never really made it from this book, though I have the book, and use it from time to time, somehow I miss the particular recipe. I'll look in to it.

Your soup looks really creamy, and that crackers look absolutely tempting.
Cheers,
Elra

Peter M said...

Kat, that's a mighty fine looking "chowda"!

jillian said...

Your chowder looks wonderful! That cracker recipe is so great- I keep going back to it.

Jen said...

I had forgotten about the lavash DB challenge... your thyme crackers look great. I think that next time I make a soup I will make crackers to go with it instead of bread.

Leslie said...

mmmm..clam chowder is one of my favorite soups!!! yum yum

Grace said...

clams aren't something i enjoy, but i can't deny the appeal of your chowdah. i'm a fan of those crackers, too, and i'm sure they're a terrific accompaniment!

Sara said...

This looks amazing! I've actually never made clam chowder before, but I need to try it soon.

Lori said...

It all looks amazing. I love, love, love New England Clam Chowder. I will take it just about anyway but I like it best when it is pretty thick.

A real nice meal- homemade crackers and soup!

Lori said...

BTW- I like the new pic! Its drmataic and playful.

Bret's Table said...

I found your link through zoebakes. I'm a huge supporter of CSAs as well. We are being offered CSAs at my place of work. It doesn't get any easier than that!

Dragon said...

I think I need 2 servings just for myself. Great job!

Deborah said...

Your version sounds perfect for me since I can rarely find fresh clams here!

Foodycat said...

Wow - you can buy clam stock in a box? That is amazing! I would be eating this every single week if that was available.

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