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Fish and Shellfish, Soups

Fin’s clam chowder

Fin’s clam chowder
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: This spring my husband and I toured the Northwest and made a stop in Port Townsend, Wash. We had an amazing clam chowder with whole clams in the shell for lunch at Fins Coastal Cuisine. Could you possibly ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 10 to 12
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely sliced leek (white or light green parts only)
  • 3 cups diced red boiling potato, about ½-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 4 to 5 pounds fresh clams in shell
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 quarts heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh chive blossoms or minced fresh chives, for garnish

Step 1Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, shallot, leek and potato, and cook, stirring constantly, until the leek is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, clams and add the wine. Continue to cook, scraping any flavoring from the bottom of the pan, until the wine is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Step 2Stir in the cream, thyme and parsley, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and continue to cook until the clams are opened and the potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Taste and season as desired with salt and pepper.

Step 3This makes about 3 quarts soup. Garnish each serving with 2 chive blossoms or a sprinkling of minced fresh chives.

Note: Adapted from chef Woody Scanlon of Fins Coastal Cuisine in Port Townsend, Wash. Fresh chive blossoms can be found at select farmers markets as well as in well-stocked herb sections of many gardening and hardware stores.

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