Clams and Quahogs Chowders

[Clams and Quahogs] [Soups] [Mussel Chowders] [Fish Soups] [Rhode Island Recipes] [Lee's Recipes]


  1. Manhattan-style Clam Chowder with tomato
  2. New England Clam Chowder with cream
  3. Southern New England Quahog Chowder
  4. Nora Bennett's Clam Chowder
  5. New England Clam Chowder from Turner Fisheries
  6. Rhode Island Plain Quahog Chowder
  7. Chilean Fish Stew (Caldillo de Congrío)

 New England Clam Chowder

New England ChowderMakes 6 servings
1 1/2 cups clam juice
2 cups chopped clams (more, if desired)
4 cups milk
2 tablespoons chicken base
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/4 pound butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup flour
1 large potato, cooked, peeled and diced

1. Place 3 cups water, clam juice, chopped clams, milk and chicken base in a large pot. Heat to a simmer.

2. Saute the onion and celery in the butter or margarine. Add the thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Gradually whisk in the flour until well-blended. Add the hot liquids slowly, whisking continually. Stir in the cooked potato. Adjust seasoning.

From Executive Chef Domingo Chavez,

Don's Fishmarket in Skokie

Nutrition Information (per serving)
Calories: 337 From fat: 196
Percentages of daily value based on 2,000-calorie diet.
Total fat 22g 34% Carbohydrate 25g 8% Vitamin A   21%
 Saturated fat 13g 66%  Dietary fiber 2g 8% Vitamin C   14%
Cholesterol 111mg 37%  Sugars 10g   Calcium   26%
Sodium 142mg 6%  Protein 13g   Iron   22%

            March's quick-changing weather is perfect for chowder.

            Actually, every day is chowder day at Don's Fishmarket in north
            suburban Skokie. In winter, the restaurant sells about 100 bowls a day
            of its signature soup, which is a variation on the tomato-based,
            Manhattan-style chowders. The milk-based New England version
            featured as the "soup of the day" on Fridays is equally popular; Don's
            sells about 100 bowls of it. But even in summer, customers clamor for
            Executive Chef Domingo Chavez's chowder. Then, about 75 bowls of
            each are sold on respective days.

            But don't call that chowder soup. There are similar qualities, but soup
            and chowder are not the same thing.

            What makes a bowl of warm comfort a chowder and not a soup?
            Playing the devil's advocate here, consider how alike the two are.
            They are both liquid. Both are popular in winter. True, potatoes and
            seafood tend to dominate chowders, but these same ingredients can
            show up in soups. Cream soups aren't chowders, even though they
            share similar ingredients. Confusion can crop up.

            Increasingly liquid chowders, fishless chowders and chowders made
            with cream sauces instead of milk have expanded the genre, making it
            difficult to develop a precise definition. It's probably safe to say,
            however, that chowders are thicker than soup and soupier than stew.

            "It's an interesting question," Charlie Orr replies when asked to define
            "chowder." Orr, chef/owner of both Maple Tree Inn on Chicago's
            South Side and Snaker Jake's Bar-B-Que & Brew in Blue Island, does
            a smoked clam chowder at the second spot and a crawfish/corn
            chowder at the first. 

            He continues, "I've never really thought about it. But when I do a
            chunky, full-bodied fish soup with cream in it--I don't do tomatoes--I
            call it a chowder. And no one argues; they seem to know what they're

            For Lloyd Tomasiewicz, co-chef at Bluepoint Oyster Bar, the defining
            element of a "chowder" is the potatoes. Bluepoint does both a clam
            and a corn chowder, and--not surprisingly--they're both made with

            Picking up on the same theme, Paul Katz, executive chef of
            McCormick & Schmick, adds his definition of a chowder. "A
            `chowder' is a rich thick chunky soup. When you make it, you
            somehow know it's a chowder and not a soup. We occasionally do a
            chicken/corn chowder, for example, and there's no way I'd list it as a
            soup. Chalk it up to instinct."

            Actually, chowders have a long history. The word chowder is
            probably derived from chaudiere, the French word for cauldron. It's
            not known whether the term traveled to the English colonies via the
            British Isles or was simply the result of contact with French-speaking
            fisherman plying the waters off the coast of Nova Scotia and

            In The Book of Chowder (Harvard Common Press, $7.95), author
            Richard Hooker traces the genre's evolution, citing written references
            dating at least to the first half of the 18th century. Early versions
            resembled stews more than soups, and they were made without milk
            or tomatoes.

            Chowders were originally cooked in heavy iron kettles suspended over
            open fires. Ingredients were layered, and the first layer was almost
            always salt pork. As the chowder cooked, the fat in the salt pork was
            gradually released, which helped to keep the other ingredients from

            Something similar to the early version--minus the milk or tomato
            popular in chowders today--is the one retiree Robert Greenleaf
            remembers. It doesn't show up on any Chicago menus. Yet, say clam
            chowder to him and Greenleaf immediately remembers this version,
            which has firm East Coast roots. 

            Greenleaf, a retired Indiana University professor, has fond memories
            of the chowder suppers held at his family's church in Ledyard, Conn.,
            during the '20s and '30s. The chowder served at these suppers was a
            straightforward mingling of salt pork, onions, potatoes and clams.

            Largely unknown in the rest of the country, Greenleaf's chowder is
            native to the area lying between Groton, Conn., and Point Judith,
            R.I., in southern New England. It's a close relative of the region's
            earliest chowders, and, like all the other variations on the chowder
            theme, this dish has tangled roots dating to the early colonial period. 

            Actually, it wasn't until the 19th century that potatoes, milk and
            tomatoes appear in chowder recipes. Hooker notes: "The earliest
            chowders had used only fish, onions, pork, and crackers as the main
            components, with wine and herbs sometimes used for flavor. As
            tomatoes, potatoes, and milk crept into chowders, the opportunities
            for variety increased geometrically."

            At the same time, regional patterns, similar to the history of
            Greenleaf's chowder, were emerging. Quahogs, a category of
            hard-shelled clams that includes the familiar littleneck and cherrystone
            varieties, became a favorite ingredient with New England chowder
            lovers. Cooks in the region also developed a decided preference for
            milk-based chowders made with fish or shellfish, salt pork, onions,
            and potatoes. Flour or crumbled hard biscuits were used to thicken the

            Manhattan/Long Island clam chowder is largely a creature of the 20th
            century. The genre is more elastic than its northern relative, and the
            list of possible ingredients is more diverse.

            In The Complete Book of Soups and Stews (Simon & Schuster,
            $17.95), for example, author Bernard Clayton Jr. does a Manhattan
            clam chowder seasoned with caraway seeds and bay leaves, a
            combination that's also used in cookbook author Hooker's version.

            On the other hand, the Manhattan clam chowder in the most recent
            (1997) Joy of Cooking (Scribner's, $30) and its counterpart in the
            newest edition (1999) of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (Alfred A.
            Knopf, $30) include neither. Differences aside, all four chowders are
            seasoned with thyme.

            Commenting on the widespread use of thyme in Manhattan-style
            chowders, Clayton observes, ". . . the bits of thyme are left floating
            on the surface and do not detract from the soup's eye appeal. New
            Englanders place their thyme in a muslin bag, which is discarded
            before serving."

            It was also during the 20th century that many chowder aficionados
            began using bacon in lieu of salt pork as taste preferences shifted. And
            as the century wore on and concerns about fat and cholesterol
            mounted, vegetable oils frequently replaced animal fats altogether.

            So what's the easiest way to distinguish a chowder from a soup? 

            Bernard Clayton says, "Chowders are all about home and hearth.
            They're warm and fuzzy, and they taste absolutely wonderful on a
            cold day."

Clams and Quahogs More about chowder

Recipes: [Manhattan] [New England] [Southern New England] [Nora Bennett's] ~ ~ Rhode Island Recipes ~ Clams and QuahogsBack to Lee's Recipes ~

Chowders for Winter Meals By Mary Emma Allen


The name 'chowder. originated from the French 'chaudiere,' meaning kettle or cauldron. It brings to mind the hearty stews made by combining clams, fish, or seafood with potatoes, onions, milk or tomatoes, and seasonings.(

For warming meals during the snowy days of winter, chowders and soups are just the dishes to serve our families.
The name “chowder” originated from the French “chaudiere,” meaning kettle or cauldron. It brings to mind the hearty stews made by combining clams, fish, or seafood with potatoes, onions, milk, and seasonings. But the word “chowder” can be applied, too, to vegetable or meat mixtures made with milk and eaten with crackers like any filling stew. Many are the variations of fish, clam, corn, or ham chowders that have been handed down from generation to generation of country folks.

Variations of Clam Chowder

Recipes Handed Down Through Generations

In their many variations, fish and clam chowder recipes were handed down from generation to generation of fisherfolk along the Atlantic coast. Gradually these bubbling brews made their way inland as pioneers left the seacoast for forest and farming areas; today, chowders are known and savored countrywide Now modern refrigeration and freezing techniques make it possible to secure fish for this one-dish meal whether you’re one mile or one hundred from the ocean’s edge.

Quick Manhattan Clam Chowder

This chowder is concocted by sautéing in 2 tablespoons salad oil, 1 chopped medium onion, 1 chopped green pepper, 1/2 pint drained chopped fresh clams or two 7-ounce cans drained minced clams.

Add water to reserved clam liquor to make 1 cup liquid. Combine this and 2 cups sieved canned tomatoes with other ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste and tomato juice or water if thinner soup is desired.

Simmer 10 minutes, until clams are cooked and chowder hot, but not boiling. Serve hot with soda crackers.

Ham and Vegetable Chowder

For this filling dish, boil 2 cups diced potatoes, 1 cup chopped cabbage, 1 large chopped onion, and 1 medium chopped green pepper in 2 cups ham liquid or water until tender.Then add 1 pint milk and 1 cup chopped cooked ham. When heated, season to taste with salt and pepper.Mary Emma Allen is a cooking columnist, travel writer, and book author. Permission to reprint given by

Source: The Epoch Times "Chowders for Winter Meals" by Mary Emma Allen
url accessed January 30, 2012


Clams and Quahogs Manhattan-style clam chowder

Recipes: [Manhattan] [New England] [Southern New England] [Nora Bennett's] ~ ~ Rhode Island Recipes ~ Clams and QuahogsBack to Lee's Recipes ~

Makes 4 MAIN-COURSE servings
12 slices bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 (51-ounce) can chopped clams (sold at Burhop's)
2 (16-ounce) cans tomatoes
1 pound potatoes, peeled, diced and cooked in water just to cover
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, mashed
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon.

2. Melt butter in bacon fat and saute onion and celery until the onion is translucent. Add the bay leaf, thyme, cayenne pepper and flour. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes until well-combined. Whisk in the juice drained from the clams, the tomatoes, and the water drained from the potatoes. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently to avoid scorching. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Add the carrots and bell pepper. Simmer until tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, clams, potatoes and bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes or until well-heated.

From Burhop's Fish & Seafood

Nutrition Information (per serving)
Calories: 339 From fat: 145
Percentages of daily value based on 2,000-calorie diet.
Total fat 16g 25% Carbohydrate 38g 13% Vitamin A   101%
 Saturated fat 7g 36%  Dietary fiber 4g 17% Vitamin C   180%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%  Sugars 7g   Calcium   12%
Sodium 1334mg 56%  Protein 12g   Iron   327%

Clams and QuahogsSouthern New England Quahog Chowder

Recipes: [Manhattan] [New England] [Southern New England] [Nora Bennett's] ~ Rhode Island Recipes ~ Clams and QuahogsBack to Lee's Recipes ~

MAKES 6 TO 8 SERVINGS 1 pint quahog meat and liquor (usually about 18 to 24 quahogs) 1/4 pound salt pork, diced Salt, if desired, to taste 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch cubes 2 medium onions, diced Sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper when served

1. Scrub quahogs and either open with knife over bowl or pail to catch liquor or steam over 2 cups of water in the steamer for about 10 minutes or until the shells open. As soon as the shells open, remove from heat immediately or the meat will get tough. Let cool. Remove the meat and discard shells. Reserve the quahog broth collected in the steamer and strain through double thickness of cheesecloth to remove sand and grit.

2. With a heavy knife, chop quahog meat into pieces. Do not grind, process or blend. The meat should be chopped into pieces no larger than bite-size that will fit comfortably into a soup spoon when eaten.

3. Wash the salt pork and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Heat in a heavy skillet until all of the fat is rendered, turning down the heat at the end, as the fat "husks" burn easily after the fat is drawn off. Lift the pork husks out of the skillet with a slotted spoon. Set aside.

4. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a medium (4-quart) saucepan. Add salt, if desired, potatoes and pork husks. Cook the potatoes over medium heat until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.

5. Cook the onions in the rendered fat over medium-low heat until soft and glistening, about 10 minutes.

6. When the potatoes are cooked, take the pan off the heat and add the quahogs and strained broth. Add the onions and rendered fat. Taste before seasoning.

7. Return the chowder to a low boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let the chowder rest for one hour. Simmer to reduce the liquid if necessary. (If there isn't time to let the chowder "sit," increase the quahogs and liquor to 1 1/2 pints.) Heat to serve.

Note: I used a pint of frozen uncooked clams and liquor and then added another cup of canned clams, which made the "waiting" period unnecessary.

Robert Greenleaf's family recipe from The Complete Book of Soups and Stews by Bernard Clayton Jr.

Nutrition Information (per serving)
Calories: 288 From fat: 90
Percentages of daily value based on 2,000-calorie diet.
Total fat 10g 15% Carbohydrate 39g 13% Vitamin A   4%
 Saturated fat 4g 18%  Dietary fiber 4g 15% Vitamin C   42%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%  Sugars 2g   Calcium   3%
Sodium 40mg 2%  Protein 10g   Iron   44%

Clams and Quahogs Nora Bennett's Clam Chowder

Recipes: [Manhattan] [New England] [Southern New England] [Nora Bennett's] ~ Rhode Island Recipes ~ Clams and QuahogsBack to Lee's Recipes ~

Makes 8 TO 10 servings
1 1/2 quarts chowder-clam meat, fresh or canned, divided
3 cups clam juice, fresh or canned
4 to 5 stalks celery
3 to 4 carrots
4 to 5 medium onions
6 medium potatoes, peeled
Pinch baking soda
1 (16-ounce) can tomatoes or 5 to 6 fresh
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt, if desired
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream, light or heavy
Paprika, to garnish

1. Rinse clams. Grind and set aside. Half the clams will be used now and half added at the end of the cooking process.

2. Pour strained clam juice and 3 cups water into a large (4-quart) kettle and bring to a simmer.

3. Coarse grind or process the celery, carrots, onions and potatoes. (A zap or two will suffice; do not puree.) Stir to mix, then add to kettle. Add half the ground clams; refrigerate the rest. Add the tomatoes, baking soda, butter, salt (if desired) and pepper. Bring the chowder to a boil, lower heat and cook gently (partially covered) at barely above a simmer--an occasional bubble--for 5 to 6 hours. After 3 hours, add the milk. Stir occasionally. Add more milk if the chowder seems too thick.

4. Refrigerate overnight or for 2 to 3 days, if desired. When ready to serve, add the rest of the clams and the cream. Heat for about 15 minutes but do not boil. Correct seasoning, garnish with paprika and serve.

Source: The Complete Book of Soups and Stews by Bernard Clayton Jr.

Nutrition Information (per serving)
Calories: 335 From fat: 122
Percentages of daily value based on 2,000-calorie diet.
Total fat 14g 21%
 Saturated fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 317mg 13% Carbohydrate 46g 15% Vitamin A   98%
 Dietary fiber 6g 24% Vitamin C   63%
 Sugars 11g   Calcium   14%
 Protein 12g   Iron   29%

New England Clam Chowder from Turner Fisheries

New England Clam Chowder from Turner FisheriesReal Bostonians demand their chowder like Turner’s. That is, dense with clams, not flour; well stocked with potatoes; flavored with the merest hint of smoked pork; and awash in aromatic cream. Turner's consistently wins the Best of Boston Chowder Award.


1/2 cup clarified butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 cup flour
3 10-oz bottles clam juice
3 cups half and half
1 large potato, diced
1.25 tsp salt
2 - 6.5 oz cans chopped clams


In a large, heavy bottomed pot over low heat sauté garlic in clarified butter for 1-2 minutes. Add onions, celery, and spices; sauté until onions are translucent. Stir in flour. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, being careful not to brown. Slowly add clam juice and 11/2 cups cream, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add diced potatoes and salt. Simmer 20-30 minutes or until potato is just tender. Stir in rest of half and half. Remove from heat and add chopped clams. Stir, let sit 1 minute. Thin with half and half or milk. Serve hot. Serves 9.

Adapted from Turner Fisheries, Boston
10 Huntington Ave.
Boston, Massachusetts 02116


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~ Rhode Island Recipes ~ Clams and Quahogs ~ Soups ~ Back to Lee's Recipes ~
Based on Chicago Sun Times food article March 8, 2000
Chilly days of March are made for chowder by Barbara Revsine

Chilean Fish Stew (Caldillo de Congrío)

[Chilean Fish Soup with sea bass fillets] [Quahog Chowders] [Clams and Quahogs] [Soups] [Mussel Chowders] [Fish Soups] [Ethnic Recipes] Lee's Recipes]

Caldillo de CongrioChile's long Pacific coast makes it a a veritable paradise for seafood fans. Chileans use their ocean bounty in countless ways. A favorite is caldillo de congrío, a simple fisherman's stew made with red conger eel, known as congrío colorado. Bruce ate this soup on the docks when he was in Puerto Montt in 1995. Congrío can be difficult to find outside Chile, but you can substitute any good white-fleshed fish to similarly delectable results.


2 to 3 tablespoons Olive oil
1 Onion, thinly sliced
3 to 4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Paprika
2 cups Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup White wine
4 cups Rich fish stock
2 tablespoons Parsley, finely chopped
1 Bay leaf
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound White fish or conger eel filets, cut into chunks
1/2 cup Heavy cream
1/2 bunch Cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high flame. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and paprika and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for another 4 or 5 minutes to cook the tomatoes down a bit. Add the wine and cook down for another minute or so.
  3. Pour in the fish stock and add the parsley, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Add the fish or eel and simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cream and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls, garnished with the some of the chopped cilantro and a few dashes of salsa de ají or other hot pepper sauce.


Source: Whats4Eats by Chef Brad Harvey, graduate of Culinary Institute of America
online at accessed March 26, 2013