Manhattan Clam Chowder

February  1, 2012
3 Ratings
Photo by TomHirschfeld/bonafidefarmfood.com
  • Makes 8 six ounce servings
Author Notes

I don't know why I haven't made this lately. I developed this recipe for a fish and seafood class I used to teach at the local culinary school. It might seem bell-less and whistle-less but don't let it fool you. It is a workhorse soup that is deeply satisfying in a working class bar sorta way. It can easily be whipped up right out of the pantry. Take note not to get carried away with the horseradish. It is subtle in the amount given, just enough to be a mysterious secret ingredient, but if you add more it takes over. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • 2 eight oz. bottles Bar Harbor clam juice
  • 2 six oz. cans Bar Harbor clams, drained, chopped and juice reserved
  • 4 ounces bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, peeled and small dice
  • 1/2 cup leek, white part only, small dice
  • 1 cup celery, rinsed and small dice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1/8 heaping teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups yukon gold potatoes, peeled and 1/2 inch dice
  • 28 ounces Pomi brand chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  1. Place a 3 1/2 quart heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and render the fat until it is crisp tender, not crunchy.
  2. Add the onion, celery and leek. Saute the vegetables until they are tender but not browned.
  3. Add the garlic, celery seed, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes. Saute until they become fragrant. A minute or so.
  4. Add the clam juice and reserved juice. While you are waiting for the broth to come to a boil taste it and, depending on how salty the clam juice is, season it with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  5. Once the broth is boiling add the potatoes, bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes then add the tomatoes and clams, bring to a boil again then reduce the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning, then simmer until the potatoes are done, about 20 minutes.
  6. Just before serving add the horseradish making sure to thoroughly stir it in.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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5 Reviews

Estoy L. April 11, 2017
Where I live, we don't boil the clams--toughens them. They just need to come to heat.
ginampen November 26, 2012
Great staple recipe. I was skeptical of adding the horseradish and tested it on a sample first before adding it to the whole pot. It was the ingredient that set the recipe apart instantly taking it from average to wonderful!
oregon C. October 28, 2012
Finally made this -- had to use the only clam juice & clams available in my area & it was great. Really hearty & we loved the kick of the red pepper flakes & horseradish. My husband loves New England style but I never make it because my waistline hates it -- he was very happy with your version.
1natalplum February 5, 2012
Even though I love New England clam chowder, I rarely eat it because of the excessive dairy and calories. This recipe looks like a great balance of flavor (bacon!) and healthy ingredients. The fact that it is pantry ready is a bonus. Can't wait to try it!
Third F. February 4, 2012
I grew up loving my mom's New England clam chowder and had never tried the Manhattan variation. I just finished my very first bowl of this, and it won't be my last. It was delicious! Unfortunately, I couldn't find Bar Harbor clams or clam juice at any of my local markets including trips to two area Whole Foods stores. I used the best I could find, as well as the recommended Pomi tomatoes. I'm going to make the New England version tomorrow for a Downton Abbey marathon that I'm having for a few of my friends who, like me, aren't into the Super Bowl. I know... it's hardly an English inspired menu, but I'm hardly a purist when it comes to food.