Since Mother Nature can't exactly make up her mind what season she really wants it to be, we figured there may still be a few good "soup days" left before Spring really kicks in! 

It didn't even occur to me how many of my last few recipes have been seafood related.  If you're one of those people who despises anything fishy, I truly apologize that I keep shoving shrimp and clams down your throat! I've been on the go so much that the only day I'm finding time to cook a good meal is Fridays and because we were deep into the 40 day season Catholics call "Lent" that means that I wasn't able to eat meat on Fridays! (I'm aware this recipe has bacon in it. I didn't make it on a Friday, but just wanted to explain why so much seafood lately!)

That said, I'm not one of those people who dislikes seafood.  In fact, seafood is some of my favorite food in the world. When I see an "All You Can Eat Seafood Restaurant" I don't see that as a type of restaurant, I see that as a challenge to literally see how much seafood I can eat in one sitting.  Heck, I've loved clam chowder for as long as I can remember but I never new how to make it.  The best man in our wedding makes his grandmother's clam chowder on Christmas Eve every year and every time I see pictures of it, I get incredibly jealous.  No more. I decided to teach myself how to make it even if it took until my 30s to give it a shot...

This recipe was really, really good and thickened up like I hoped it would!

New England Clam Chowder (via Simply Happy Foodie)

Ingredients

  • 3 cans Chopped Clams (6.5 oz cans)
  • Water
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 stalks diced celery
  • 2 springs fresh Thyme
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1.5 lbs (about 4 cups diced) gold potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups Half and Half
  • 1 Tbsp Corn Starch
  • Chopped Chives for garnish

Instructions

  • Open clams and drain juice into liquid measuring cup.  Add water until juice reaches 2 cup line and set aside.
  • Use saute function on Instant Pot and add bacon. Cook until fat renders out, but don't let it get crispy.
  • Add butter, onion, celery and type. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent.
  • Add garlic, salt and pepper.  Stirring frequently.
  • Add potatoes, sugar and clam juice/water mixture and stir.
  • Lock Instant Pot lid into place and cook at high pressure for five minutes.  When the cycle has completed, leave 3 standing of three minutes before performing quick release. Remove lid.
  • Use a potato masher to mash potatoes to consistency of your choice.
  • Turn back on statue setting.  Add clams and half and half.  Let the chowder heat, but don't boil it.
  • Add corn starch to thicken soup.
  • Garnish with chives and serve!