Tag Archives: soup

My Manhattan Clam Chowder

With the advent of the cold weather, soup is always a good idea.

It warms you up from the inside out and makes you feel all cozy and content.

After Thanksgiving was over I thought I’d make some turkey soup – but alas – Tom Turkey had none to give so I opted for a giant can of clams from Costco and made some Manhattan Clam Chowder.

I love the New England version I make, but since my dad was over, and hates the creamy version, I whipped up my spicy version of Manhattan.

Now I never write down recipes – but I’m making a valiant effort to recreate it!

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • a few good shakes of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 giant 3 lb can of clams from Costco
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 link chorizo, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds – optional – I only use it if I have it in the fridge
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 handfuls of potatoes – cut into small cubes
  • 1 lg can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, leaves chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Directions

Drain clams through strainer and reserve broth.

In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the meat beginning to crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pot and reserve.

Melt the butter in olive oil in a the same pot over a medium flame. Add the onion, celery, garlic, 1/2 to 1 tbsp red pepper flakes and chorizo (optional) and cook until the onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir the flour into the pot. Cook the onion and flour mixture for several minutes then add the potatoes and add the wine and stir.  Add clam broth and bring to a simmer, stirring until smooth. Add the tomatoes and sugar, stir well to incorporate, then toss in the pepper flakes, thyme, and parsley. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and cook at a low simmer until the broth is flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes.

Add clams.  Stir well, season again, if needed, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve immediately


© 2012 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.


My Mother’s Tortellini Soup – At Least I Hope It Is!

Basil plant leaves.

Image via Wikipedia

My mother uses to make this tortellini, tomato and basil soup that I used to love.  The other day I was craving it and tore the house apart looking for the recipe.  No luck.

I scoured the internet for a similar recipe.  No luck.

I called my father and asked him if he had it.  No luck.

So yet again I was on my own to re-create a dish that I had once loved.  Take my advice ladies – get your family recipes before you can’t get them anymore!

In any case, I came up with the following recipe.  My husband loved it.  My father loved it.  I hope you love it too.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
red crushed pepper to taste
Italian Seasonings
1 – 28 oz can diced tomatoes
a pinch of sugar
a splash of white wine
a handful of basil, torn
8 cups of chicken broth (I use bouillon cubes)
a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach
1 – 2 packages of frozen tortellini or small cheese-filled ravioli
salt & pepper
grated Romano cheese

In a large pot, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add garlic, crushed pepper, a good sprinkling of Italian seasonings and bouillon cubes if you’re using.  Cook until garlic starts to brown.

Add diced tomatoes with juices, about half of the basil, a pinch of sugar and a good splash of wine and cook for a minute or two, stirring.

Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Add pasta and spinach and cook according to pasta package directions.  Add remaining basil, a large handful of grated cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and enjoy.

I think I got it right.  I’ll update it if I forgot anything.  I have to learn to write things down!

© 2011  J. H-M and CultureChoc2010

Stracciatella: A Quick Alternative To Canned

I hate canned soup!  The sheer metallic flavor assaults my refined taste buds.  I’m a fan of homemade everything!  No jars or cans for me.

This is a great recipe for Italian egg drop soup – or Stracciatella.  It’s quick, easy and delicious!


1 qt chicken broth
4 eggs
1 ½ tbsp semolina or flour
2 tbsp grated romano cheese
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
½ c cooked chopped fresh spinach or 2 cup fresh raw
chopped parsley

Boil the chicken broth.  Beat eggs in a small bowl until thick.  Add spinach to broth.  Mix semolina, cheese, salt and pepper into eggs.  Slowly pour egg mixture into boiling broth, stirring constantly.  Continue stirring and simmer 5 mins.  Top with chopped parsley.
Serves 4.

So unless you’re really sick and can’t stand for 5 minutes, try this homemade soup and you will not be disappointed.

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

New England Clam Chowder… The BEST

Recently I have been blogging about food and recipes original and borrowed.  My obsession with food is evident in my 20 pound weight gain over the past year – causing me to gain 2 sizes – from a 4 to an 8.  I must say it’s been worth it.  I love to cook and I love to eat more.

I’m always trying to create or perfect existing recipes to please my sense of taste and style.  After searching for years for a great New England Clam Chowder recipe, I decided to make my own and I think that it is the best I’ve ever tasted.

A Jersey Girl’s New England Clam Chowder

1/2 lb bacon, medium dice
1 large onion red or yellow, chopped
1/2 c chopped celery
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
1/2 c all purpose flour
1 lb red potatoes, medium to small dice (approx 8 small)
4 c clam juice (I use the juice from the clams only if using canned)
2 c heavy cream
2 lbs little neck clams, shucked and chopped or 1 – 3 lb can clams or 6-8 small cans, reserve juice
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy stockpot or Dutch Oven, over medium-high heat, render the bacon, until crispy, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the onions, celery and carrot.

Sauté until the vegetables start to wilt.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the bay leaves and thyme.  Stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring.  Add the potatoes.  Stir in the reserved clam juice.  Bring liquid up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 12 minutes.  Add cream and bring up to a simmer.

Add the clams and simmer for 2 minutes.  Stir in parsley.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  Ladle into shallow bowls and serve.

Serves 6 – 8

I hope you will try it out and let me know what you think.

Do you have a favorite Clam Chowder recipe?

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.