Freshly steamed clams, homemade clam broth and minimal vegetables are the defining features in this stripped down version of a Manhattan clam chowder.
Rinse and scrub clams well in cold water. Bring 3 cups water to a boil over medium high heat in an 8-quart stock pot. Cover and add clams and steam about 8 - 12 minutes or until clams open. Check frequently and remove clams with a slotted spoon or tongs as soon as they open. Strain broth and set clams aside. You should get about 4 cups clam broth.
In a heavy bottom stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, thyme, oregano, red pepper and bay leaf. Saute about 5 until veggies are softened. Add garlic in the last minute.
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