This Manhattan clam chowder recipe consists of the basic ingredients, but I’ve added some red pepper flakes to jazz it up just a bit. And I’ve swapped out a couple other traditional ingredients just because I can’t get them here in Costa Rica.
If I lived in a cold-water clam region, I’d use fresh clams, but this Costa Rica-adapted Manhattan clam chowder recipe does just fine with canned clams. When you used canned clams, make sure you don’t buy smoked clams.
Manhattan Clam Chowder
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and diced to ½-inch pieces
- 1½ cup celery halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 cup onion diced
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¾ tsp dried thyme
- ⅓ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound potatoes, russet peeled and diced to ½-inch
- 2 cups Mott's Clamato tomato cocktail
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes drained, but keep about half the juice
- 10 oz canned baby clams undrained
- Prep all the ingredients and have the ready to go.
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove the back and drain on paper towels.
- Into the pot with the bacon grease, add the onion, carrots and celery and cook until almost tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and cook for 15 seconds or so, until it's aromatic.
- Add the tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the Clamato, chicken broth and potatoes, bring it to a simmer and cook until the tomatoes are tender – about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the bacon, tomatoes, the retained tomato juice (about 1/2 of the original full amount of drained juice,) and the clams with their juice. Stir well and test the broth, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for 5-8 minutes to heat everything through, then serve.