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Admittedly, this is a budget version of New England Clam Chowder, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fantastic.  When I have a good couponing week or win on some scratchers (kidding, I’m not so much of a gambler) then I’ll post a chowder recipe using fresh clams, but for now, this completely satisfies my need for some chow-dah, as they say in Boston.


This may be the most favorite soup in my house, including my picky picky roommate.  I love the meaty bacon, the creamy soup, chunks of potato and, of course, the salty sea flavor of the clams.  This soup was even a favorite when I was a personal chef for the Chinese American family; especially with their littlest boy who called it ‘white soup,’ because apparently there’s no good translation for ‘clam chowder’ in Mandarin.  🙂  This soup is also a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, and if you don’t have any leftover potatoes, just increase the amount of potatoes that the recipe calls for.

New England Clam Chowder – in bread bowls (see the recipe in my broccoli soup recipe for how to make the bread bowls.)

Bread bowls!!!

Bread bowls!!!

Serves 4-6 – Cost approx $.77 per serving


  • 4-5 slices bacon, cut in small strips ($.50)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced ($.16)
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose flour
  • 2, 4 oz cans of chopped clams in juice, strained, juice reserved ($1.98)
  • 2 cups cream, half and half, or milk – I used one cup half and half and one cup milk, because it was what I had on hand, use whatever you like! ($.50)
  • 2 cups seafood or vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes ($.30)
  • 2 small or one large russet potato, peeled, small dice ($.15)
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2-3 Tbs fresh parsley, minced
  • 1-2 tsp fresh thyme, minced

Begin by cooking the bacon in a large pot, when the bacon is crispy remove the bacon and leave the fat in the pot.  Saute the onion in the bacon fat over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.  Next, add in the flour to make a roux, cook 1-2 minutes.  Add in the reserved clam juice, dairy of your choosing and stock.  Bring to a simmer, add the bay leaf and leave to thicken for 5 minutes.

Add in the mashed potatoes, diced potatoes, salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.  Check the seasonings and add in the paprika, herbs and reserved bacon and clams.  Simmer for a few minutes to meld all the flavors.  That’s it!  Simple, no?