A Healthy and Delicious Manhattan Clam Chowder

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As part of our cooking experience rewriting recipes–adjusting them to a healthier version–for foods that are originally from or that became famous in New York, today we have the famous Manhattan Clam Chowder.

Ingredients

30 small clams, rinsed

4 cusp water

1 tbsp salt, split

5 strips bacon, cut in 1/4-inch pieces

1 Tbsp butter 

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 large carrots, finely chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

1 green pepper, finely chopped

3 large Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

6 sprigs thyme, tied together

2 bay leaves

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup parley, finely chopped

In a big pot, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Rinse clams and add them to the pot. Add 1/2 tablespoon salt and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, covered. Remove from heat, strain through a sieve, save the clam juice. Set clams aside to cool off.

In a small skillet, melt a tablespoon butter and cook bacon for 7 minutes, over low heat. Separate cooked bacon from fat and set aside.

Using the same large pot, rinsed, cook onion, carrots, garlic, celery and green pepper in reserved bacon fat with remaining 1/2 tablespoon salt, over low heat, for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned.

Add potatoes, cover, and cook for 15 more minutes, until potatoes are softened. Remove about a cup of the potatoes pieces and mash them well with a fork in a bowl. Add them back to the soup, with the tomatoes.

Cut the reserved clams the same size as the bacon. Add both to the soup. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Add 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

Serve with chopped parsley on top.

YIELDS: 8 servings

SOPHISTICATED CULINARY by Lucas Eller