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Even though spring is almost here that doesn’t mean soups are off the table. In fact, there are so many easy and delicious soups that are perfect for spring, that they’re very much on the table. And for me, clam chowder is one of them. Whether red or white, chowder is one of those soups that can warm your bones on a chilly night and make taking in the warm afternoon spring sun all that much better. And if you’re eating your bowl of chowder either dockside or with a water view, even better.
It’s this love for all things chowder that led to this recipe for Hearty Clam & Corn Chowder. At its core, this is a Manhattan-style clam chowder with a tomato base and traditional veggies like celery, carrots, bell pepper, potato, and onion.
But where this recipe adds a twist, is with the addition of some absolutely delicious Libby’s Whole Kernel Sweet Corn. Often found in white chowders, we found that adding the corn made this chowder even more filling, hearty, and enjoyable with a touch of sweetness. If you’re a corn lover, you’ll definitely want to give this one a try.
And whatever you do, don’t forget the oyster crackers!
Ingredients You Need
Clams – The star of the show in this chowder we’re using canned whole baby clams and diced. If you prefer one texture over the other, they can easily be substituted. Just keep in mind that diced clams are usually sold in smaller cans than the whole.
Clam Juice (2 cups) – For this recipe, you’ll need two cups of clam juice. You can find them in the grocery store in 8 oz jars (one cup) in the canned fish aisle and should be on the shelf right next to the can clams.
Bacon – Bacon is wonderful in chowders like this one, and the drippings are used to cook down the vegetables. But if you’re avoiding meat, or simply don’t eat pork you can skip it. Just sautee your veggies in olive oil instead.
Canned Tomatoes (28 ounces) – There are a lot of options for canned tomatoes out there and you can really use whatever you have in your pantry. Stewed or diced are most convenient, but if you have plum tomatoes that will work too. Simply pour off all the tomato juice into the pot with the veggies, and then give the whole tomatoes a dice on your cutting board before adding those to the pot as well.
Libby’s Whole Kernel Sweet Corn – While this clam chowder is inspired by a Manhattan-style clam chowder (which typically doesn’t have corn), we’re adding some Libby’s Whole Kernel Sweet Corn to make this soup even more hearty. You’ll love how sweet and delicious it is and it might just inspire you to work it into some of your other favorite easy spring dinners. Add ⅓ cup (with its liquid) of Libby’s Whole Kernel Sweet Corn to this chowder and you’ll be glad you did.
Carrots – One large carrot will do, chopped.
Celery – One stalk is plenty, also sliced.
Green Bell Pepper – Green is traditional but red bell pepper can add great flavor too. Add whichever you have on hand
Potatoes – Chowders taste best with plenty of potatoes. Dice up one medium or two small potatoes.
Onion – One small onion is all you need.
Spices – This soup is gently spiced. All you need is some black pepper, bay leaves and some salt to taste. To avoid making this chowder too salty be sure to add the salt at the end since the clams and clam juice will add salt to this soup on their own.
Handy, convenient and ready whenever you need them, stock up on Libby’s Vegetables and use them in your easy Spring dinner recipes to make getting dinner on the table even easier. They have a variety of veggies to choose from!
Hearty Clam and Corn Chowder
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup green bell pepper, diced
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 medium potato, cubed
- 1 28 ounce can plum or diced tomatoes San Marzano are recommended
- 2 cups clam juice
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/3 cup Libby’s Whole Kernel Sweet Corn
- 1 10 ounce can clams whole baby
- 1 6.5 ounce can of diced or chopped clams
- salt, to taste
Heat a medium heavy-bottomed over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove bacon, drain on a paper towel and crumble. Leave drippings in pot.
Add onion, celery, bell pepper, carrot to pot. Sautee until they begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, clam juice, bay leaves and black pepper. Add the tomatoes as well. If using plum tomatoes instead of diced, add the sauce from the can into the pot first. Then give the tomatoes a dice before adding to the pot. Simmer the veggies for 20 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender.
Next, add the cans of clams with their juices, the corn and the bacon. Simmer another 5 minutes. Season with salt if needed.
Serve with oyster or saltine crackers. Enjoy!
Looking for more ways Libby’s Vegetables can add a touch of Spring freshness in a convenient package to your weeknight dishes?