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Manhattan Clam Chowder – Give it the praise it deserves!

I went to college in Boston, Massachusetts, so I’m familiar with New England clam chowder. When he went out to dinner, which was not often, he always asked for it. In fact, I was looking forward to the clam chowder. Without a doubt, this buttery, creamy, and sticky rib soup is delicious, especially on a winter night.

My love for New England clam chowder didn’t change my love for Manhattan clam chowder. I am originally from Long Island, New York, and our family used to go to Jones Beach, on the south shore of the island, to swim. We stayed for the evening water show and clam chowder. At the time, I was an elementary school student and I loved the soup and the little packets of round cookies that came with it.

Sometimes my mother made Manhattan clam chowder from scratch and it was delicious. Dad split open the clam shells and scooped out the meat with a small, stubby knife. I remember being a little scared while looking at it. But chef and writer James Beard hated Manhattan clam chowder, according to http://www.whatscookingamerica.net. He described it as a vegetable soup with poured clams. With all due respect to James Beard, I love Manhattan clam chowder for the veggies and clams.

The site http://www.whatscookingamerica.net Wet says that some food historians think Manhattan soup was also known as Coney Island soup and Fulton Market soup, after the famous Fulton Fish Market in the city of New York. Manhattan clam chowder was also called Connecticut chowder. I found many recipes for tomato soup in my cookbooks.

A recipe from “The Healthy Cook” published by “Prevention Magazine” contains clam juice, reduced sodium canned tomatoes, garlic and hot pepper sauce. The original recipe from the “Joy of Cooking” book contains bacon, canned tomatoes, ketchup, and butter. Other Manhattan clam chowder recipes contain green bell peppers. I didn’t want green pepper, ketchup, hot sauce, or garlic in my soup.

What did i want? I wanted a lot of clam flavor and a lot of veggies. Read my recipe and you will see that it has more vegetables than clams. There is hardly any fat because the fat in the bacon has been cooked. Canned clams and juice contain salt so I have omitted that from the recipe. Make a batch of Manhattan Clam Chowder today and give it the praise it deserves!


2 14.5-ounce cans of juice and whole unsalted tomatoes

4 6.5-ounce cans chopped clams and juice

1 8-ounce bottle of clam juice

2 1/2 cups of water

1 cup of chopped celery

1 cup of chopped yellow onions

1 cup baby carrots (from a package)

1 medium potato, peeled and cut into small pieces

1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

3 tablespoons precooked royal bacon

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper


For kettle-canned tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into small pieces with kitchen shears. Chop the celery and onions and add them to the soup pot. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for an hour. Or simmer in a slow cooker, over low heat, for four hours. This Manhattan clam chowder tastes even better the next day. Makes 12 one-cup servings.

Copyright 2007 by Harriet Hodgson

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