Winter Soups – The Best Clam Chowder!

It’s getting a bit chilly out and that’s when I start making lots of soups.  One of my favorites is Clam Chowder. Many of my recipes have a story behind them.  Here is my Clam Chowder story:

The best clam chowder I ever tasted was at a small restaurant in Sacramento. It was so tasty, I asked the chef for the recipe.  Of course, he didn’t give it to me, but I was determined to make this mouth watering chowder. Could I create this wonderful recipe by taste, “I asked myself?”

The first few attempts to make this recipe were mediocre at best.  There was one ingredient that provided a wonderful flavor to this seafood chowder that I wasn’t familiar with.  After purchasing every herb and spice that I did not have, I discovered the secret herb.

The aromatic herb was called Tarragon. Its aroma is similar to anise. The French use this flavorsome herb as one of the main ingredients for their famous Béarnaise sauce. Once I added this herb to my clam chowder, I had recreated the best clam chowder that I ever had.

Here’s the recipe:

First you make a fish stock.  I usually buy a whole fish, any kind will do, and after cleaning and filleting it, I throw it in a pot of boiling water. Add carrots, thyme, celery salt and pepper and prepare a day or two before you need it. I won’t be given you many exact measurements, because your challenge is to figure out how much of each ingredient to use in your own great clam chowder.


Half and Half

Chicken Stock

2 tablespoons flour to make rue




Salt and pepper

Carrots chopped small

Celery chopped small

Onions chopped small

1-2 Cans Clams and juice

Red Potatoes

First, peel and quarter several potatoes and boil in fish stock until stock is reduced and potatoes are done.  Take potatoes out of stock and put in blender.  Add some fish stock to the blender and blend until smooth. Put aside until rue is complete.

Make the rue:

Sauté your onions in butter and add carrots and celery, then add clams and sauté. Add 2 table of flour and stir to start making a rue. Add sherry and stir.

Add your clam juice, half and half and some chicken stock. Also, add some tarragon to taste. Your chowder will start to thicken. Add your blended potatoes and simmer until done.  Be sure to add enough salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy your creation!

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1 Response to Winter Soups – The Best Clam Chowder!

  1. Sounds great! I love clam chowder!!

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