Chopped clams, aromatic vegetables and creamy potatoes blended with low-fat milk and just a half cup of cream gives this chunky New England-style clam chowder plenty of rich body. Serve with oyster crackers and a tossed salad to make it a meal.
"Excellent - made as written but toward the end I added a little extra salt and some garlic powder to bring out the flavors. This was a big hit in my house and perfect for a chilly night. The creaminess was just right for New England...
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer half of the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. Add onion, celery and thyme to the pan; cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add potato, clam juice and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Whisk milk, cream, flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add to the pan and return to a simmer, stirring, over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add clams and cook, stirring occasionally, until the clams are just cooked through, about 3 minutes more.
To serve, discard bay leaf. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with some of the reserved bacon and scallions.
TIPS & NOTES
Makeover tip: Check sodium carefully when using clam juice because the amount of sodium can vary dramatically between brands. We use Bar Harbor clam juice with only 120 mg sodium per 2-ounce serving.
Shopping tip: Look for fresh clam strips at the seafood counter.
Per serving: 253 calories; 13 g fat (6 g sat, 4 g mono); 59 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein;1 g fiber; 585 mg sodium; 392 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Iron (50% daily value), Vitamin C (23% dv), Calcium (21% dv), Vitamin A (17% dv).