Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Homemade Clam Chowder

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling extra chilly today. Yesterday was crisp, but not as chilly. Today, however, there have been rumours of snow (and the white stuff has actually fallen in other parts of Alberta already). Personally, I'm not quite ready for snow. I love the Fall. It's my favourite season with it's colours of beauty, crunchy leaves underfoot, and subtle smells that bring delight. I feel that Fall never gets its appropriate time and just "be" thus allowing us to enjoy it to it's fullest, if you get my drift (pardon the snow pun ;) ). Winter tends to bully Fall into submission far sooner then most of us are ready and would like. 

I have nothing against Winter, except the cold. I HATE being cold. I love sweaters, boots, hot tea and warm, comforting spices. Fall allows all of those things, without the incessant cold. I live in Canada, however, so the cold is inevitable. You'd think after 30 years I would be used to it, but no, I'm not. I imagine myself a snow bird when I hit retirement age. :D

The chilliness, however, brings me to this yummy recipe post! Due to the nature of the weather, I wanted to make something else that is comforting and perfect for a crisper day…soup. My husband found this delicious sounding recipe for Clam Chowder, in the Globe and Mail newspaper at work, so he brought it home for me to try out.

It was an exciting new endeavour, actually, and I found it a fun experience to purchase live clams for the first time.

First things first, when I bake or cook, I always need to get everything in order first. All my ingredients need to be out, and everything set up. Thus below I have my butter, pancetta, onions and potatoes all ready to go with my recipe :)

I melted the butter then added the pancetta first, to get it a little bit fried. Then you add the other ingredients and fry until the onions are translucent.

Then you add your vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender

Add fresh corn off the cob, stir together and then add your clams. Boil for about 3-5 minutes, until the shells have opened.

Remove the clams and set aside to let them cool (otherwise, you'll burn your fingers, as I found out :P)

Shell your clams and put the meat back into the soup. Add some salt if needed (I didn't need anything extra, but Hayden did, so I had him add salt to his own bowl of soup :))

Reheat your soup until the clams are heated through


Enjoy your delicious soup on a chilly day! I made my Gluten-Free Garlic Cheddar Muffins to go along with it, and it was a perfect accompaniment. This meal got two thumbs up from the hubby and he even went back for seconds. My wee one also got soup for supper and loved it. I spooned some into a cup and blended it in my magic bullet. She even had two helpings of supper! A hit all around :) I can't wait to eat the leftovers!

I adapted the original recipe by: Lucy Waverman from the Globe and Mail.

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced pancetta
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
3 stalks of organic chopped celery
Approx. 1/4-1/3 cup of chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
4 cups organic vegetable stock
3 cups fresh corn kernels (2-3 cobs)
2 lbs fresh, live clams (I used just under 2lbs and it was more then enough)

- Melt butter over medium heat in a large pot.
- Add diced pancetta and saute' for 3 minutes or until slightly crispy.
- Add onions, potatoes, celery, garlic and basil, reduce heat and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add stock and bring to a boil.
- Simmer until potatoes are cooked, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add corn kernels and stir together.
- Add clams.
- Cover and boil about 3-5 minutes or until clams open.
- Remove clams, cool and shell them and return the clam meat to the soup.
- Salt if needed
- Reheat soup until clams are hot.

This was so simple and so delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Happy Eating!

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