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Rhode Island clear clam chowder

2 dozen clams

4 strips bacon, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 large onion, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

4 medium potatoes, peeled

8 cups water or stock or combination

1 bay leaf

1 to 2 teaspoons dried thyme or savory, to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Makes 8 servings.

Scrub the clams thoroughly. Place in a pot with 1 cup of hot water and bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand until clams open easily (discard any that don't). Remove clams from shells and dice the meat. Pour the liquid from the pot over the chopped clams and reserve in a bowl.

In the same pot, saute the bacon until crispy, then add the carrots, onion and celery and cook until the onions are translucent. Dice 3 of the potatoes and add one to the pot whole. Add the water, bay leaf, thyme and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove whole potato, mash thoroughly and return to pot to thicken the soup. Return clams and broth to pan and warm through before serving.

Nutrition per serving: 143 calories (10 percent from fat), 1.6 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 0.5 g monounsaturated), 18.4 mg cholesterol, 9 g protein, 23.5 g carbohydrates, 3.2 g fiber, 117.4 mg sodium.

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