Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder is a heavy cream soup that easily can be a meal in itself. This recipe is roux based, which leads to a thicker and creamier soup. Since I live in the desert Southwest where fresh clams are a fantasy, this recipe uses canned clams, which is good since the clam juice is used in the soup stock.


  • 2 (10 oz.) cans chopped clams in juice
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 16 oz chicken stock
  • 16 oz. potatoes – peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 TBL unsalted butter
  • 3 TBL all-purpose flour
  • 1 onion – finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks – diced into 1/4-inch pieces, leaves reserved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TBL red wine vinegar – optional


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare ingredients prior to starting
  2. Drain juice from clams into sauce pan and add onion, celery, potatoes, and bay leaves. Cover with water and cook over medium heat until tender (~20 mins).
  3. Make Roux
    1. Melt butter in sauce pan then add flour and stir. Cook roux until it’s lightly toasted.
    2. Add a little stock to roux. It will stiffen, but keep stirring as you add a small amount more, careful to work out the clumps.
    3. Repeat step two until all the stock has been added and there are no lumps in the mixture.
  4. Add cream to roux and then add the cooked vegetables along with the water. Simmer but do not boil.
  5. Season with salt a pepper to taste.
  6. Add clams just before serving. If the clams cook too much they get tough.
  7. If the soup seems a little flat, can add up to 2 TBL red wine vinegar after clams are heated.
  8. Garnish with chopped celery leaves.