Clear broth Clam Chowder is Rhode Island style clam chowder, and it’s my favorite!! If I have a choice of the Manhattan or the New England or the Rhode Island, this is my favorite!
There is a great restaurant I know that mixes both the Manhattan and the New England. The friendly owner never fails to come around and greet everyone at the tables. One time I told him, mixing the two styles is genius! And delicious! But you need Clear Broth Rhode Island Clam Chowder on the menu for the true clam lovers!
You have to be a clam lover to appreciate the unadorned broth. Truly a delight!
I like to make it this way, very simply and traditionally. Sometimes I add just a touch of white wine. Leave out the wine if you prefer. But this is still the basic RI clam chowder I like!
And I have my favorite places to get it in Rhode Island when I go! Can’t wait to go back!
Rhode Island Clear Clam Chowder
- 4 cups water
- 2 pounds clams hard shell, (quahogs) or soft shell (steamers) (I like to mix both)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ pound bacon diced
- 1 cup Spanish onions chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- ¼ cup white wine optional
- 2 cups red potatoes cubed
- ¼ cup parsley fresh, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅕ teaspoon black pepper
- 1/16 teaspoon crushed red pepper a pinch
- Rinse the clams very well in cold water.
- Bring the water in a large pot to a boil. Add the rinsed clams and cook until the clam shells open up, usually this takes about 10 minutes.
- Strain the clam broth through a very fine sieve or cheesecloth and set aside.
- Remove the clams from the shells. Give the clam meat a very quick rinse under water to remove any possible sand and coarsely chop them. Set aside.
- Rinse the large pot and sauté the butter and bacon over low heat for about 5 minutes, until the bacon has browned. Remove the bacon and set it aside.
- Add the onions, celery, and white wine, (if you are using it) to the pan and sauté for a few minutes, just to soften.
- Add the clam broth, potatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- Add the reserved chopped clams and bacon. Remove the bay leaf.
- It is better to give the chowder some time (at least a half hour) to let the flavors meld before serving. Then just reheat it a bit. I think it is even more delicious the next day…and the next!