Chowder comes from the French word "chaudiere," meaning "large copper pot." In Brittany, fishermen would combine their fish in one of these pots, add spices, and share the resulting soup. This custom traveled with the Bretons to Newfoundland and then down to New England.

No-Cream Clam Chowder

This recipe calls for 2% milk instead of heavy cream, and the starch from the potatoes takes care of the rest. Just two slices of smoked bacon adds flavor without all the extra fat.

We used just two slices of smoked bacon, which adds rich flavor without a lot of extra fat; corn and carrots provide fiber and nutrients. We substituted 2% milk for heavy cream--the starch from the potatoes makes the soup extra creamy.
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)
           4  dozen clams in shells, scrubbed
           2  slices smoked bacon, chopped
           2  carrots, chopped
           1  medium-size onion, chopped
           1  celery rib, with leaves, chopped
           1  (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
           1  large ear fresh corn, kernels removed, or 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
           3/4  pound  red potatoes, chopped
           1/4  teaspoon  salt
           1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
           1/2  teaspoon  dried thyme
           3  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
           3  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
           2  tablespoons  chopped fresh Italian parsley


1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a large skillet. Add clams, cover, and steam 5 to 7 minutes or until shells open; discard any that do not. Drain clams, reserving cooking liquid. Pour cooking liquid through a fine wire-mesh sieve into a bowl, and set aside.

2. Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until crisp; drain on paper towels, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in saucepan.

3. Sauté carrots, onion, and celery in hot drippings over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add reserved clam cooking liquid, clam juice, and next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

4. Meanwhile, shuck clams and coarsely chop the meat. Whisk together milk and flour in a small bowl; add to saucepan, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. (Do not boil.) Add bacon and clams, and cook 1 to 2 minutes or just until heated through. Stir in parsley.
Nutritional Information