This version of clam chowder uses fresh clams and some of the cherrystone clams are kept whole for a burst of ocean flavor in your mouth. Delish!
4 dozen cherrystone clams, gives about 1 c. clam meat, scrubbed and washed well.
1 cup parsley, chopped, divided
6 each potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic,, peeled and minced
2 sprigs Fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 dashes red pepper flakes
1 each bay leaf
2 1/2 cups clam broth, strained and reserved from steaming clams.
1 can petite diced tomatoes, , undrained
1 cup fresh parsley, loosely packed, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Rinse and scrub clams well in cold water. Tape with a spoon lightly any opened clams, if they do not close discard and discard any cracked clams.
2. In a large stockpot bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add in clams and cover. Continue cooking and check inside often for any open clams and remove them with a slotted spoon or tongs and place in a heat resistant bowl. Repeat until all clams are cooked.
3. Strain the clam water/broth about 4 cups and set aside,.
4. In a large stockpot heat oil over medium heat. Once hot, saute onions, garlic, celery, thyme, oregano, bay leaf and black pepper for about 3-5 minutes until tender.
5. Add in 2 cups of the strained clam broth and potatoes and bring to a slow boil. Add more clam broth if needed to cover potatoes. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes.
6. Now remove clam meat from shells and discard shells. You should get about 1 cup. Keep the smaller clams whole and cut the larger ones in half.
7. When potatoes can be easily speared by a fork add in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well and continue to simmer about 5 minutes.
8. Turn off heat, then add your clams and 1/2 the parsley. Stir well.
9. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with some parsley.
10. Do plan to serve with crispy french bread or crackers. Enjoy