Have you ever been so cold down to your bones that you couldn’t seem to get warm, even hours after being inside? Yep, same here. Winter problems.
Earlier today I went on a hike with some friends up in the mountains. When we got to the top of the mountain, it was insanely windy and bone-chillingly cold. Frankly, it was quite a comical scene. We were all trying to run away from the wind, hiding behind tree trunks, and screaming and laughing while the pebbles from the dry, frozen lake next to us were sandblasting our legs. The rest of the hike down was much more pleasant and fun memories were made. We laughed a lot about our attempted escape from the winds at the top because there was just no hiding from it!
When I got home an hour later, I was still cold. I took a shower, still cold. When dinner came around, all I could think about was getting warm. I looked around and realized I had all of the makings of clam chowder! Yes! So I whipped it up, ate it and suddenly felt like a new (and warm) woman. No wonder they eat this all winter in Boston.
4 6.5 oz. cans of canned minced clams, keep the juices!
2 cups of bottled clam juice
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 strips of bacon
2 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. thyme
2 bay leaves
3 c. heavy cream, half and half, or whole milk
6 Tbsp. sherry or marsala
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Tabasco, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley, for garnish
Drain the clam juice from the canned clams into a large bowl. Add bottled clam juice until the total amount equals 3 cups.
Cook the bacon until crispy in a large soup pot over medium heat, and dice into small pieces. Add the onion and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and mix together thoroughly, or for about one minute.
Add in the clam juice and mix in. Allow this mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid is thickened. If it becomes too thick, just add more clam juice. Add the bay leaf, thyme and potatoes to the pot and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
While the potatoes cook, combine the cream and clams in a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the clams are cooked. When the potatoes are cooked though, add the clams and cream to the large soup pot. Add the sherry, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco. Mix together and simmer together for 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh parsley.