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Traditional New England Clam Chowder

I left a cruise ship with a great souvenir...the recipe for this splendid chowder! It's a traditional soup that stands the test of time. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Cook: 15 min.
  • Makes
    7 servings


  • 12 fresh cherrystone clams
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 2 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream


  • Tap clams; discard any that do not close. Place clams and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes or until clams open.
  • Remove meat from clams; chop meat and set aside. Strain liquid through a cheesecloth-lined colander; set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. Saute onion in drippings until tender.
  • Return bacon to the pan; add clam meat and reserved liquid. Stir in the potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Combine flour and milk until smooth; gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Gradually stir in cream; heat through (do not boil).
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 138 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 24mg cholesterol, 175mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 lean meat, 1/2 fat.

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  • Jane
    Dec 19, 2020

    Coming from New England I do know a thing or two about clam chowder. This is a very good recipe except for the directions telling you to add clams much too early. Never boil chopped clams. They turn into erasers!!! When cooking raw clams cook only until they open fully. Then chop, don't grind into mush. It will make a world of difference!

  • Pete
    Feb 28, 2020

    Cooking chopped clams for 12 minutes?? My goodness they’ll become rubber!! This would be an ok basic chowder but add the clams for a few minutes at the end. Also cube the potatoes don’t chop into all different sizes so they cook at the same time.

  • tsuop
    Feb 16, 2020

    The ONLY change I made was cornstarch for the flour. Perfect!!

  • Derrell
    Oct 15, 2014

    This will also let you add ingredients if desired . For anyone watching calories , this would be great .