Here’s one of those soups that can go together in an hour—and taste like it took all day to make.  Tradition says that both chowder and chili are better the next day, but this one’s pretty good by dinner time.  It’s also one of those pantry recipes that’s a life-saver on a cold rainy day when going out is not in the plan.  In fact, a good many cooks say canned clams are their choice for chowder—and who has left-over clams anyway?  Make the chowder base ahead of time and finish up just before serving.  This recipe serves 2-4, with a basket of cheese biscuits.


  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1-2 tblsp butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 -2 potatoes
  • chopped parsley
  • 1 can chicken broth or 1 bottle clam juice
  • 1 can chopped clams in clam juice
  • 1 small can corn, cream style
  • salt and pepper
  • dried thyme
  • 2-3 tblsp instant mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup+ half and half
  • grated nutmeg
  • paprika


In large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp—remove, drain and crumble.  Remove all but 1 tblsp bacon fat from pan, add butter.  Cut onion, potatoes and celery to very small dice and sauté for about 5 minutes.  Add broth/clam juice, parsley, clams, corn, bacon, salt, pepper and thyme—bring to slow boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Turn off heat, let cool—or chill, up to the next day.  Reheat to slow boil—add instant potatoes to thicken chowder, reduce heat, then thin with half and half.  Top each bowl with light sprinkling of paprika and nutmeg.

The Kitchen Hive

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