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Best Clam Chowder

This pescetarian-friendly clam chowder brings smoked kipper snacks, cod, clams, potatoes, and veggies to a creamy broth for a belly-warming soup that'll fill you to the brim.
Course Entree or Side, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Comfort Food, Pescetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Killing Thyme

Ingredients

  • 1 TSBP olive oil
  • 3 oz smoked kipper snacks, drained and roughly chopped (*See notes) found in canned fish ailes
  • 1 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 10 oz white fish fillet, like cod or halibut, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, finely chopped approx. 3/4 cup
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped approx. 3/4 cup
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup wheat beer; a pilsner or lager will also work
  • 8 oz clam juice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups half and half cream, divided
  • 2 TBSP corn starch
  • 2 10 oz cans of clams, undrained

Optional Garnishes.

  • Oyster crackers
  • Smoked paprika
  • Fresh thyme

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add smoked kipper snacks and sauté for approx. 2 minutes. In the meantime, cut your fish fillets into bite-sized cubes and place into a bowl; sprinkle with all purpose flour and toss to coat. Add the fish to the pot, along with a splash of the vegetable broth. Simmer for approx. 3-5 minutes, or until fish looks opaque.
  • Add the garlic, celery, onion, and carrot, and stir. Simmer until tender, approx. five minutes.
  • Stir in the cubed potatoes, vegetable broth, beer, clam juice, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • In a small bowl, thoroughly mix 2 TBSP of corn starch with 1 cup half-and-half cream. Gradually stir it into the soup. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until thickened, stirring often. If you'd like the soup to be thicker, mix a TBSP of corn starch with 1/4 cup cold water, and gradually add to the simmering soup to thicken further.
  • Finally, stir in the clams with their juice, and the remaining half-and-half; heat through, but don't bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir, and taste. Season further if needed. 
  • Serve, and garnish with oyster crackers, smoked paprika, and fresh thyme.

Notes

*If you're not pescetarian and want to use bacon, bring roughly chopped bacon to the pot in place of the kipper snacks and cook them until lightly crisped, then remove the bacon and set aside on a paper towel. Continue on with the rest of the steps, and stir the bacon in at the end with the clams.