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      RECIPE TITLE "Potato and Clam Soup with Sour Cream, Thyme, and Garlic Croutons" Author: Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest

    ... more great recipes by Chef Cory Schreiber on our GREAT CHEFS page!

    yields6 time120 min. difficultymoderate

    Chowder is perhaps the most popular soup preparation for clams. This incorporates some of the standard ingredients into a purée using potato as a thickener. I use water instead of the traditional fish stock, which allows the excess juice from the clams to provide the shellfish flavor and the natural flavors of the vegetables to come through. A dollop of sour cream adds finish to the flavor, and a little chopped cooked bacon mixed with the croutons and thyme makes a tasty garnish.



    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 cups ½-inch-cubed country bread
    • Salt and ground black pepper to taste


    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 white onions, chopped
    • 2 leeks (white part only), washed and chopped
    • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
    • 3 ribs celery, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
    • 2 cups Sauvignon Blanc wine
    • 6 cups water
    • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
    • 10 drops red pepper sauce
    • 3 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • Sour cream and minced fresh thyme for garnish


    To make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic for 3 minutes, or until translucent; do not brown. Add the bread cubes, tossing to coat. Place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside.

    To make the soup: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks, fennel, celery, salt, and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook the vegetables for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Mix in the white wine, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in 5 cups of the water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, thyme, and red pepper sauce; reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly. Purée in a food processor until smooth; set aside.

    In a large skillet, combine the clams and the remaining 1 cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and steam for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the shells open. Discard any clams that do not open after 8 minutes of cooking. Remove from heat and let the clams cool in their shells. Take the clam meat out of the shells, allowing the clam juice to drip back into the skillet. Strain the clam juice and reserve it.

    In a large pot, heat the vegetable purée. Stir in the reserved clam juice, clams, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    To serve, ladle the chowder into soup bowls. Garnish with the sour cream, thyme, and garlic croutons.

    HOT! We recommend:

    Chef Cory Schreiber opened the Wildwood restaurant in Portland five years ago and has rapidly become a leading figure in the region's bustling culinary scene. Schreiber won the James Beard Award in 1998 for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest-a fitting tribute to a man who cherishes the land, its peoples and its produce in much the same way as Beard, a native Oregonian himself, did. Schreiber emphasizes organic produce prepared in ways that allow the natural beauty and flavors of the ingredients to shine forth, unobstructed by fussy embellishments. It is complex cuisine to be sure, but one grounded in a hearty, rustic sensibility. With its lavish food and landscape photography, inspired recipes and passionate personal narrative, this book presents the dishes that have earned Mr. Schreiber national acclaim and offers a window into the source of his creativity.


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