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New England Clam Chowder

Yield about 3 1/2 quarts

Ingredients

  • 3 dozen soft-shell clams, shucked and undrained
  • 2 ounces salt pork
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cups peeled, diced potatoes
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart milk, scalded
  • 2 cups half-and-half, scalded

How to Make It

  1. Drain clams, reserving liquid. Finely mince clams; set aside.

  2. Sauté salt pork in a large Dutch oven until golden brown; remove salt pork and discard, reserving pan drippings in Dutch oven. Sauté onion in pan drippings until tender. Add potatoes, bay leaves, salt, and pepper; stir well. Add enough water to clam liquid to equal 3 cups; add to Dutch oven, stirring well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes.

  3. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add scalded milk and half-and-half; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened.

  4. Stir cream sauce and reserved minced clams into vegetable mixture; simmer 20 minutes. Serve warm in individual soup bowls.

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