Feasting With Bompas & Parr
You Will Need
Clam chowder is a popular and filling soup, the sort of thing to line your stomach ready for some hard feasting. It’s economical to make because you don’t need a whole load of clams. You can also adapt the recipe to make a dish that is more main course rather than soup. In this case get twice as many clams and thin the chowder with more milk to create a moules mariniere-style dish. It will look smart and be tasty to boot. The traditional accompaniment to the chowder is little oyster crackers, which translates to picking up a box of Ritz when you are in the supermarket.
If you can’t get the clams, fresh corn cut off the cob and added near the end is delicious. Forego the bacon and you’ve got a vegetarian dish too.
Find a roomy saucepan, add the butter and cook the bacon until cooked through but not brown. While this is happening chop the celery, onion and potato into equal 5-mm/1/4-in cubes. When the bacon is done, add the celery, onion and potato and cook gently in the butter until soft and translucent, putting back on a low heat once the pan has cooled down sufficiently to stop them scorching. Stir in the flour and cook for a few minutes to form a roux. Add the milk, bit by bit, and cook slowly until everything is combined, about 10 minutes.
Once the flour has cooked out you can chill this mix and come back to it nearer the time when you want to eat.
Add the cream and season with a little salt. Finally, about 5 minutes before you want to serve the dish add the clams (or corn) and cover the pan. It is ready when all of the clams have opened. Serve at once, sprinkled with chopped parsley.