Today it's cold, cloudy, and rainy…the sort of day where you don't want to do anything more than curl up under the covers with a good book and read the day away, all comfortable and cozy-like.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay snuggled in. I had multiple errands to run and household chores had to be completed, so I turned to the next best thing…setting a pot of soup simmering on the stove for the afternoon once I got back.
There's something so comforting and appealing about having a soup or stew cooking away. I love the way the scent of whatever you're cooking curls through the house, the way the kitchen flushes with warmth, and the little task of regularly giving the pot a stir as it cooks and merrily melds all the flavors together.
I was in need of that comfort today, I think. I swear, I couldn't walk through a single aisle today without knocking something off a shelf or rack. A stack of towels here, a display of puzzles there. A pile of sweaters, stackable containers. Multiple cans of crushed tomatoes in aloud clatter, 6 bags of spinach, all in leafy green Popeye-pleasing avalanche. Thankfully, I didn't break anything or make too big of a mess; I only incurred numerous stares and a couple chuckles as I battled and bobbled and cursed everything back into it's proper place.
All except for the spinach, because after the 4th attempt to put the bags back above the eggplants and balance them just right so they wouldn't keep sliding off, I finally gave up and tossed them on top of the collared greens.
My heartfelt apologies to the grocery produce guys; I figured it was better that you put it back than I keep manhandling your section.
After finally making it home and getting every thing sorted and put away, I decided the dreary, dismal day called for some clam chowder.
I had a pound of clams in the freezer picked up from a local global foods store that were perfect- big and meaty and super flavorful. With those, some bottled clam juice, bone broth (chicken stock), potatoes, celery, onion and homemade bacon, I had a chowder going in short order, and very satisfied tastebuds and a happy tummy!
6 strips bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped finely
3 ribs celery, chopped
4 medium red potatoes, chopped into bite-sized chunks
2 cups bottled clam juice
1 cup chicken stock/bone broth
1 lb fresh or frozen , diced
1 can minced baby clams, with juice
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dill
3 tablespoon arrowroot powder
Cook the chopped bacon on medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot until it becomes crispy.
Add the onion and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add the potatoes, bay leaf, chicken stock/bone broth, and clam juice.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes on med/low heat, until the potatoes are tender.
Remove the bay leaf and stir in the cream, clams, parsley, black pepper, tarragon, and dill.
Allow it to simmer for a couple minutes, stirring often.
In a small bowl, mix the potato starch with a little water and stir it into the chowder.
Continue to simmer and stir for a few minutes until it thickens. If it’s not thick enough, give it time – it’ll get there.
Serve it immediately, and keep it warm in case anyone wants a second helping!