New England Clam Chowder
- 5 cans (6.5 ounces each) chopped clams (I added one more just because I needed to use it up)
- 2 bottles (8 ounces each) clam juice
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds russet or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and small diced (about 3 medium potatoes)
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely diced onion
- 1 cup diced celery (about 4 medium stalks)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Drain the clams, reserving the juice. Set both the clams and juice aside.
- In a 5- or 6-quart pot, combine the clam juice (just the bottled stuff, not what you've reserved), broth and potatoes (the potatoes will just barely be covered with liquid; it's important they are diced small). Bring to a simmer, add the bay leaf, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
- While the potatoes cook, in a second pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the butter is melted. Stir in the onions, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and half and half, stirring quickly to avoid lumps. Bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture has thickened, 4-5 minutes.
- Stir the creamy mixture into the potatoes, whisking quickly until combined (take out the bay leaf if it's getting in the way). Stir in the salt, pepper, vinegar, and reserved clams. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in any of the reserved clam juice to thin the consistency, if desired (I usually don't but we like it thick). Serve.