Before we go into the recipe, let’s talk about our clams. These hard shell clams are the traditional East Coast mercenaria or quahog species, with a deliciously, mildly sweet flavor and a briny accent. They are 1-1/2 to 2 inches in size (referred to as littlenecks or top necks). Sizzlefish Littleneck Clams are cultivated and harvested at their peak by the watermen of Cedar Key, Florida. Our clams are quick-cooked in their shell, individually quick frozen and vacuum-sealed by the dozen in a convenient boil-in-bag. They arrive to your doorstep frozen, convenient, and ready to be heated and served in minutes. That makes this recipe even easier…
Soup season is here and we are definitely not mad about it. The temperatures are cooler, the days are shorter, we are bundled up and we need some comfort. Clam chowder is simply the quintessential comfort food and this bowl of goodness has it all. Filled with hearty chunks of tender potatoes, nestled next to sweet corn, with pieces of sweet littleneck clams all blanketed in a rich creamy soup, you will be warmed up from the inside out. We kept this version pescatarian, but you can definitely add bacon for a smoky addition to this recipe. Whatever you do, don’t forget the crackers or toasty bread because you won’t want to miss out on the pure pleasure of dunking them in this creamy bowl of chowder.
Prepare the littleneck clams by placing the bag of frozen clams in boiling water. Boil for 5-6 minutes.
While the littleneck clams are boiling, heat the butter in a large pot on medium heat. Add the diced shallots to the melted butter and cook 3-4 minutes, until just translucent.
Next add the minced garlic to the onion and cook for 1 minute, stirring. You are not looking for color on these, you only want to soften them.
Next add the paprika and dried thyme to the pot, stir to combine. Add 2 cups vegetable broth, diced potatoes and corn to the pot, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when poked with a fork. You want to make sure the potatoes are covered with broth so add a little more if needed.
When the potatoes are cooked through, whisk the milk with the flour making sure there on no lumps. Pour the milk and flour mixture into the pot and stir well to combine.
Add the cooked clams to the pot (in the shell makes a prettier presentation). Once thickened, remove from the pot from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve garnished with fresh parsley and crackers or toast.