Sunday, March 23, 2014

Garlic Clam Chowder with Herbes de Provence

Day 64

New England style clam chowder is the perfect compliment to a cold winter day. Since we’re (hopefully) getting closer and closer to beautiful spring weather, the clock is ticking on hearty and creamy winter soups. Here’s my twist on clam chowder, filled with the flavors of France. An entire bulb of garlic creates a pleasing sweetness while the Herbes de Provence add incredible layers of flavor. I think you’ll really enjoy it. I served mine with focaccia bread toasted with cheddar cheese and bacon. It was a nice touch, but this soup can also be served solo or with crackers.

Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2014

Happy spring!

Garlic Clam Chowder with Herbes de Provence

4 strips bacon
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
1 bulb garlic (10-12 cloves), minced
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups vegetable broth
2 -10 oz. cans whole baby clams with juice reserved
2 tsp. white pepper
3 tsp. sea salt
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbs. Herbes de Provence (see recipe below if not available for purchase at your local market)

Crisply fry bacon in Dutch oven and place on paper towel to drain. In bacon grease, sauté chopped onion, adding garlic after onion is translucent and slightly caramelized. Add  broth, potatoes, and juice from two cans of clams. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Use a potato masher to mash about half of the potatoes to thicken the soup. Add salt, pepper, Herbes de Provence, and the heavy cream. On low heat, simmer until flavors blend. Add clams to heat through. Ladle in bowls, and sprinkle each with crumbled bacon. Serve immediately. 

Herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons dried savory
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried fennel seed

Mix together and store in airtight container until ready to use. 

(Note: the Focaccia bread I made was simply from the freezer section of the grocery store, prepared according to package directions EXCEPT that I removed it from the oven 10 minutes early, added cheddar and bacon crumbles, and returned to finish baking for the remaining 10 minutes. Broiling for 1 minute at the end makes for a crunchier top, which is optional.)

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