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Clam Chowder

ingredients

serves 4
1 - 2 dozen clams or 1 can clams
150 ml (1/4 pt) white wine
300 ml (1/2 pt) water
bay leaf
bouquet garni
100 g (4 oz) bacon
25 g (1 oz) butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 leeks, washed and chopped
1 green pepper, seeded, blanched and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
100 g (4 oz) potato, diced
salt and freshly ground pepper
few sprigs fresh thyme or 2.5 g (1/2 tsp) dried thyme
4 - 6 fresh tomatoes, skinned or 425 g (15 oz) can tomatoes
7 g (1 tbsp) chopped parsley
8 cream crackers, crushed

method

1. Poach fresh clams for about 10 minutes in the white wine and water with a bay leaf and bouquet garni added.

2. If using canned, poach for 5 minutes.

3. Cut the streaky bacon into small pieces.

4. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add bacon.

5. After about 2 minutes add the onion, leeks, diced pepper, diced celery and diced potato.

6. Sweat the vegetables for about 6 minutes then add the clam liquor with seasoning, thyme and chopped tomatoes.

7. Make the liquid up to approximately 900 ml (1 1/2 pt) with water.

8. Bring the soup to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

9. Add the clams a few minutes before serving.

10. Serve the chowder sprinkled with crushed crackers and parsley.

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