Monday, August 19, 2013

Clam Chowder

This is my version of clam chowder made with coconut cream instead of heavy cream. Feel free to substitute if you want in equal proportions. When my family goes to the beach, we spend our time in the bay digging for clams, cutting mussels away from bay grasses, or catching crabs. If my sisters and I are lucky, we'll get a little bit of time on the beach at Assateague Island (wild ponies!). Both my parents love activity! If we're not in the water, we're at the beach house cooking. This soup was a combined effort from all of us. My dad steamed the clams, Tiffany chopped them, and all of us helped to catch them. Well Kelly and I mostly just splashed other people and got in the way...
When we catch the clams, we let them sit in a bucket in they bay for a day to filter out all of the sand before eating them. One of the neighbors recommended pouring a beer on the clams, which apparently makes them spit out all of the sand quickly.


5 strips thick bacon, sliced
3 cups roughly chopped clams
3 cups small diced potatoes
7 celery stalks, sliced
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
6 1/2 cups clam juice
1 bunch fresh parsley, leaves chopped
1 can coconut cream
1 tsp old bay seasoning
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

To cook the clams: Steam the clams until they open, pulling them out individually as they just open. Keep the clam juice that's in the shells and the clam juice in the steamer. You should have about 6 cups, but if not just dilute with some water. Once cool enough to handle, chop roughly (I like big chunks of clam).
For the soup: Fry the bacon until crispy over medium high heat in a large soup pot. Take out the bacon and set aside. Keep the bacon grease in the pot, add the onions to cook until translucent. Add the celery and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes.
Add the clam juice and potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat until they are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Then add the coconut cream and the spices. Cook until the soup is heated through. Add the chopped parsley, the chopped clams, and the bacon. Season again if needed and serve with some sourdough bread.

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