New England Clam Chowder

Adapted from Chef Daniel Knerr at Black Pearl restaurant in Newport, RI

– 3 tablespoons canola oil
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
– 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
– 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 2 tablespoons constarch
– 1 (51-ounce) can chopped ocean clams (quahogs), drained, liquid reserved
– 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
– 2 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced small
– 2 cups half-and-half
– 1 (51-ounce) can chopped sea clams (surf clams), drained
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 1-2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
– 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
– Dry vermouth (optional)

1. Place the drained ocean clams in a food processor with a couple tablespoons of the reserved liquid and process until ground. Set aside

2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven, then add the onions and saute for a few minutes until translucent. Add the thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the flour and cornstarch over the onions, then mix together and cook for a minute or two until the flour starts to smell nutty, but doesn’t change color. Add the ground ocean clams, remaining reserved liquid, bottle of clam juice, and the cubed potatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower heat back to medium and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or just until potatoes soften. Remove from the heat and chill until thickened, preferably overnight.

3. Place Dutch oven over medium high heat and stir in the half-and-half. When the soup starts to loosen up and warm through, add the chopped sea clams, butter, and dill. Stir to combine and heat through. Add Tabasco and vermouth, if desired. Served hot.

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