Clam Chowder with Root Vegetables and Thyme

By • August 8, 2014 1 Comments

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Author Notes: I love a good chowder, especially when it's loaded with clams, veggies and bacon. One spoonful transports me to the seaside on a cool and foggy day - and since I live in San Francisco, that would be every day in the summer. I call this soup a white chowder, meaning that every vegetable that's added is white. A combination of cream and milk plus chicken stock creates a rich and deeply flavored broth, while celery root, leeks and potatoes round out the bowl for a satisfying one-dish dinner. TasteFood


Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small celery root, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 pound small fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch thick coins
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, or more as needed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 24 littleneck clams
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and fry until the fat is nearly rendered (it will continue to render as the vegetables cook).
  2. Add the onion and leek and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the celery root and potatoes. Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the milk, cream, stock, thyme and bay leaf. (If soup is too thick, add additional milk to thin). Bring to a boil. Add the clams. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the clams open, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Discard any unopened clam shells.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot garnished with fresh thyme leaves.

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