Clam Chowder Recipe

Posted March 22, 2012 by Stephanie

The days are getting a bit warmer and the sun’s staying out a little bit longer, but I’m still feeling the leftover chill of winter. We’ve been taking lots of windy walks and the best way to warm up afterwards is a steaming hot bowl of soup. I pretty much like all soups, but this simple New-England Style chowder with a small sprinkling of clams, corn, celery and carrots reminds me of all good things to come.

The first home-made clam chowder I had wasn’t New-England style (gasp!) It was a Manhattan clam chowder: all tomato-y, spicy, and decidedly un-creamy. It was one of the first things that my brother ever cooked from scratch. The soup was a bit too peppery for my 11 year old palate, but now it’s definitely a family favourite. It’s “his” soup, the soup that he’ll always make whenever we head over for dinner and he’s cooking.

Personally, I lean more towards New-England style clam chowder if I have the choice. I love the creaminess with the salty sea taste of the clams. Add some toasted or grilled bread for dipping and I’m set! This is an easy, quick, spring version: lots of vegetables and just enough clams makes this soup light and refreshing.

I am clam-filled, I am soupy, I am Clam Chowder!

Clam Chowder Recipe
serves 2

  • 1 lb fresh clams, scrubbed and soaked
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup each: diced carrots, celery, corn, potatoes
  • 2 cups clam water from steaming clams
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes, corn and thyme and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir well, until vegetables are coated and there are no flour pockets, about 1-2 minutes. Add the clam water in a steady stream and stir throughly. Let the soup come to a simmer and thicken, about 20 minutes.

While the soup is thickening, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a pot over high heat. Add the clams and cover. Cook until clams open, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a cutting board, discarding any that did not open. Save the water to use in the chowder. Remove clams from shells and add to the chowder. Stir in the milk and continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!


  1. renee says:

    can you use canned clams and the juice from the can?

    1. steph says:

      Hi Renee,

      Yup, canned clams and clam juice will work too!

  2. laura says:

    I think the tomato-based style of chowder is a Manhattan clam chowder. Bostonians like theirs New England-style. They are, after all, in New England.

    I had my first bowl of clam chowder the night I moved to Boston. It was cold cold cold out, at about 10 at night. My friends picked me up from the airport and we stopped at a pub for a bowl of chowdah. I felt very welcomed.

    1. steph says:

      Hi Laura,

      Guess I shouldn’t have believed my brother when he told me it was Boston clam chowder! Fixed now and thanks!

  3. Radhika says:

    I just made this (used mussels instead) and it turned out great! So easy and quick to make. Your blog is awesome!!

  4. Keith says:

    Love your knife!

  5. cally doyle says:

    Born and raised in New England. (Canterbury CT) Every summer we had picnics …memorial day, labor day, Fourth of July. Cold beer and hot clam chowder. Manhattan style as we know it now. The old old REAL way is to use salt pork. AND no garlic. Onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, salt pork, potatoes, clams, black pepper. Thats it. Variety is the spice of life of course….but New Englanders do know their chowdah. And baked beans but thats for another time.

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