Cincinnati Clam Chowder
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
1/4 cup pancetta, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 small carrot, diced
2 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons white wine
1 can (15 oz) crushed or petite diced tomatoes
2 (8 oz) bottles clam juice
3 cans chopped clams, drained, juices reserved
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
hot pepper sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a 4 or 5 quart dutch oven or large stock pot until shimmering. Add the pancetta and cook until the pancetta begins to lightly brown. Add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and beginning to turn golden. Add the garlic and saute for a few minutes more, until fragrant. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Add the tomatoes and stir to mix well.
Combine the bottled clam juice along with the reserved juices from the canned clams. You’ll need a total of 4 cups — top off with water, if necessary, reach the 4 cups. Add to the soup. Turn heat to medium-high until soup comes to a boil, then reduce to medium-low, maintaining a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to smoothe out the soup to your preferred texture. Reduce heat to low and stir in the heavy cream, clams and a few dashes of hot pepper sauce. Allow soup to gently warm for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.