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Chowder, 3 Ways

Chowder, 3 Ways

This summer soup satisfies whether you choose to use fish, shellfish, or seasonal veggies. Simply start with a sauteed base of bacon, shallots, and wine — then add potatoes and the desired main ingredients. No matter what, finish with a splash of heavy cream for just a touch or richness.

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Clam Chowder

2 strips bacon (about 2 ounces), finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
5 ounces shallots, minced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 1/2 cups)
4 pounds littleneck clams (about 30)
1 thyme sprig
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream

1. Cook bacon in a medium stockpot over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until light golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in butter until melted. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring, until almost no liquid remains, about 45 seconds.

2. Place clams and 2 cups water in a large pot over high heat; cook, covered, until clams open, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove clams, strain liquid, and add enough water to equal 4 cups; use as stock. When clams are cool enough to handle, remove from shells and chop.

3. Add potatoes, stock, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 8 to 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; and stir in clams and cream. Heat 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

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Fish Chowder

2 strips bacon (about 2 ounces), finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
5 ounces shallots, minced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups bottled clam juice
1 thyme sprig
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 pounds skinless firm white-fleshed fish, such as cod, bass, or red snapper, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1. Cook bacon in a medium stockpot over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until light golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in butter until melted. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring, until almost no liquid remains, about 45 seconds.

2. Add potatoes, stock, clam juice, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 8 to 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; season fish with salt and stir in with cream. Heat until warmed through and fish is opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

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Corn Chowder

2 strips bacon (about 2 ounces), finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
5 ounces shallots, minced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 cups corn kernels (from 2 to 3 ears)
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
4 cups chicken stock
1 thyme sprig
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream

1. Cook bacon in a medium stockpot over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until light golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in butter until melted. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring, until almost no liquid remains, about 45 seconds.

2. Add potatoes, corn, zucchini, stock, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 8 to 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add cream and heat 1 minute, then pulse a few times with an immersion blender, just until some of corn mixture is pureed. Season with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

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