Clam Chowder Bread Bowls
This rich and smoky Clam chowder is full of vegetables and tender clams served in rustic sourdough bread bowls for a coastal seafood soup that eats like a meal!
Making clam chowder is a breeze with our little neck clams. Here at Sizzlefish, our clams our harvested off the coast of Cedar Key Florida. They are quick cooked and frozen in their shells before being vacuum sealed by the dozen. Their flavor is delectably mild and sweet with a briny accent.
Since our clams are already cooked, preparation for this chowder is quick and easy. Half of the clam meat are removed from their shells to add clam flavor in every bite. The remaining clams are left whole giving the chowder a coastal appearance that begs you to dive in and enjoy.
Clams can be added to your favorite pasta recipes, baked in a Fisherman’s pie, or enjoyed as an entree in a white wine sauce.
Bacon is first crisped to add a smoky flavor throughout the chowder. Pancetta can also be used. Next, the vegetables are sautéed to bring out their flavor. Aromatics like bay leaf and thyme are used to bring an herby depth to the chowder. You can also add rosemary or fresh oregano.
This rich and creamy clam chowder is lightened up using half and half and cornstarch instead of heavy cream for a rich texture that doesn’t sacrifice flavor.
Once the chowder is complete, it is ladled into crusty sourdough bread bowls. You can buy sourdough baguettes at many grocery stores and bakeries. Simply use a sharp knife to cut a round hole in the center leaving 1-2 inches around the sides and scoop out some of the center to make a well. You can also use Ciabatta or any hearty round loaf of bread.
2 portions Sizzlefish clams
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 strips thick cut bacon
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 peeled/chopped medium russet potato
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- Sourdough bread bowls for serving
Rinse clams under cool water in a strainer. Discard any unopened clams. Remove meat from half of the shells and coarsely chop. Reserve the remaining clams for adding to the chowder later.
- In a large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy, 8-9 minutes. Chop bacon and set aside. Add butter to bacon drippings and sauté onions and celery for 5 minutes. Add garlic and potatoes and cook 2 minutes longer.
- Add stock, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper to pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- Discard bay leaf and woody thyme sprigs. Whisk together cornstarch and half and half until smooth. Gradually stir mixture into soup and continue to simmer until broth thickens, about 2 minutes. Add bacon, chopped clam meat and whole clams to pot. Cook 5-6 minutes longer to heat clams through.
- Ladle chowder into bread bowls and serve hot garnished with extra thyme.