Did you know it’s National Soup Month? Yes, it is! And to celebrate this delicious food “holiday” we are kicking on the 2nd Annual Houseful of Soups blog hop! Read more about Houseful of Soups under the recipe!
Growing up in the Midwest, we didn’t have a lot of fresh fish, except for what we caught when we went fishing. Whether it was crappie, bluegill, walleye, or trout, it always tasted amazing because we caught the fish ourselves. I didn’t learn to LOVE seafood until I moved to Connecticut.
Back in my early 20s I was a summer nanny in Connecticut for a family who had a Vermont “cabin” (5 bedroom 4 bath home on the side of a mountain they shared with the Rockefeller estate). We visited the cabin several times over the summer. This is where I fell in love with seafood (and learned how much I hated wine!) Between the fresh seafood from the fish markets in Connecticut and Vermont I was SPOILED. Lobster, tuna, swordfish, scallops… we feasted on seafood at least twice a week.
In Vermont, there was an incredible fish market were we’d pick up bouillabaisse or clam chowder for dinner every Sunday. The bouillabaisse was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever tasted. The fishmonger made it fresh every day with whatever seafood he had left over from that day’s catch. The only thing better than his bouillabaisse was his clam chowder. You could only get the clam chowder on Sundays and you had to get there early in the morning before it would sell out. For a couple dollars extra you could get these amazing bread bowls to serve it in.
While I was never able to persuade the fishmonger to share his recipes, I’ve managed to cobble together a pretty tasty version of New England Clam Chowder. I tend to not measure my ingredients when I make it. It’s all about feel for me, but the last time I made it I finally wrote down the recipesoi could share.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Simply Delicious Instant Pot Clam Chowder
This classic New England style clam chowder is super simple to make in your Instant Pot. Chock full of whole baby and chopped clams, it's very tasty and filling! It's the perfect cold-weather soup.
- 8 slices Hickory smoked bacon, diced, divided
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon Litehouse Freeze Dried Spring Onion (or one diced onion)
- 1 tablespoon Litehouse Freeze Dried Parsley (or 2 tablespoons chopped parsley)
- 1 tablespoon Litehouse Freeze Dried Thyme (or 4 sprigs fresh thyme removed from stems)
- 2 tablespoons Litehouse Freeze Dried Garlic (or 2 cloves garlic, minced)
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/3 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (6.5 oz) can chopped clams (reserve juice)
- 2 (10 oz) can whole shelled baby clams (reserved juice)
- 4 Idaho russet potatoes, peeled and cut in to 1/2 inch rough cubes* (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 1/3 cup whole milk (or Half and Half**)
- 2-3 tablespoons worcestershire (to taste)
- Kosher salt to taste***
- Optional Garnish: oyster crackers, fresh parsley, fresh thyme, chopped crispy bacon
- Set your Instant Pot to saute and add 5 slices of chopped bacon into the pot stirring occasionally until fat has rendered out of it and it's turning brown, but not crispy.
- Add butter, onion, and thyme. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot until fragrant, or if using fresh onions, the onion starts turning translucent.
- Add the garlic, celery, carrots, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Open the clams and drain the juice into a measuring cup. You should have at least 2 cups (if you have more that's fine, add it all in). If you don't have 2 cups of liquid, add some bottled clam juice, chicken broth, or water to increase liquid to 2 cups.
- Add the clam juice and potatoes to the Instant Pot and stir.
- Cancel the saute function, place the lid on and lock in place. Turn the steam release knob to sealing.
- Set to manual pressure cook (high pressure) for 3 minutes. When the cook time has ended, let it natural release for 3 minutes, then a slow, manual release.
- (Optional) While waiting for the soup, fry or bake the remaining bacon until crispy and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess grease. Roughly chop and use this for garnish.
- After the quick release is complete, carefully open the lid and stir the contents.
- Turn the saute function back on, and use the lowest setting (on the IP is called less).
- Add the clams, worcestershire sauce, and the milk or half and half. Let the chowder heat through, stirring regularly so it doesn't burn. Do not let it come to a boil.
- If the broth isn't as thick as you would like, add 1/4 cup of instant potatoes OR a mix of 1 or 2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch and about 1/8 cup of half and half, mixed well, until thickened to your liking.
- If you are not serving immediately, set Instant Pot to keep warm and serve when ready.
- Garnish with bacon, oyster crackers, and/or freshly chopped parsley or thyme.
You can easily double the recipe; the cook time will stay the same.
This freezes well if you want to double the recipe. Leftovers are good for about three days in the fridge--if it lasts that long.
*If you don't like larger chunks of potato in your chowder dice them into small cubes. The larger the cube the more firm the potato will be after cooking; the smaller the cube the more likely the potato will dissolve and naturally thicken the broth.
**Half and half is equal parts of whole milk and light cream. You can substitute 3/4 cup whole milk + 1/4 cup heavy cream or 2/3 cup skim or low-fat milk + 1/3 cup heavy cream.
***Clams are naturally a bit salty so wait until you taste at the end to add any extra salt.
Substitute diced radishes in place of the potatoes. It's a delightful flavor twist. The red skin will turn the chowder a pink color, but the radishes will cook up soft and lose their spice.
Make it a seafood chowder by adding 1 pound of scallops, oysters and/or shrimp with the clams.
Dairy-Free: substitute ghee for the butter, coconut milk for the half and half, and add 1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast for extra flavor.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 390Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 889mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 21g
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only.
Houseful Of Soups
Houseful of Soups is a creation from Natasha of Houseful of Nicholes. For the second year in a row, she is hosting a blog hop with a few good soup recipes to take you through National Soup Month!
Check out some of the great recipes below from our friends across the net and save them to your stash (Don’t forget to Pin these!!). They’ll take you through this wintry season just fine!
- Vegetable Beef Stew from Houseful of Nicholes
- Chickpea Chicken Soup from Day by Day in Our World
- Hearty Instant Pot Hamburger Soup Whole 30 Approved from Simplify Live Love
- Simply Delicious Instant Pot Clam Chowder from Life of a Ginger (that’s me!)
- Homemade 30 Minute Chicken Vegetable Soup from 100 Directions
- Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup from Mama Harris’ Kitchen