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Chilled Creamy Clam Chowder


September 3, 1999
Web posted at: 3:46 p.m. EDT (1946 GMT)

From Picnics: Elegant Recipes for Alfresco Dining (Chronicle Books)
By Barbara Scott-Goodman

6 servings


  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 18 littleneck clams, shelled, chopped and drained, juice reserved
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • Finely chopped fresh dill, for garnish
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Fry the bacon in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Save the bacon for another use or discard. Pour out and discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.

Add the butter to the bacon fat in the stockpot and heat over low heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the clam juice, wine, water and potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 25 minutes.

Add the clams and their juice, thyme and Tabasco sauce and simmer 5 minutes longer. Stir in the milk, cream and salt and pepper to taste. When the soup is just barely boiling, stir in the sherry. Remove the pot from the heat and let the soup cool for about 1 hour.

Purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade. Return the purée to the pot and taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

To serve, stir, ladle into chilled soup mugs and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped dill and parsley.

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