Manhattan Clam Chowder
With a tomato base instead of cream, Manhattan clam chowder differs from the New England version. Healthy and chunky with vegetables, it is also a very democratic soup. You might find it listed both as the “soup du jour” on the menu blackboard at the neighborhood bar and grill, and as a specialty of the house at tony seafood palaces.
  • 2large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 bacon slices, coarsely chopped
  • 1medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3medium celery ribs with leaves, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2cup seeded and (1/2-inch) diced green bell pepper
  • 3cups bottled clam juice
  • One28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice, juices reserved, chopped(see Note)
  • 1/2teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • One1-pound container shucked clams with juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and partially cover the saucepan. Simmer until the potatoes are barely tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
  3. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and green pepper to the fat in the saucepan. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the clam juice, tomatoes with their juice, thyme, and bay leaf and stir well. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and partially cover the saucepan. Simmer to blend the flavors, about 25 minutes.
  4. Stir in the clams and their juices with the bacon and potatoes. Cook just to heat the clams and potatoes, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle into bowls and serve hot, sprinkled with parsley.
Recipe Notes

Note: Here’s a low-tech way to chop tomatoes. Pour the contents of the can into a deep bowl. Reach into the bowl and crush the tomatoes through your impeccably clean fingers until the tomatoes are broken into pieces about the size of a quarter or smaller. That’s it.