Anyway, thanks for your patience, which I hope you'll feel has been rewarded. This is my take on a fairly traditional New England clam chowder, which is probably lighter in texture than you are used to.
My contacts deep inside the authentic clam chowder underground (ACCU) don't agree on much, but most do say "real" clam chowder is nothing like that thick, gray pudding served on Friday at your friendly neighborhood restaurant chain. I've also had "classic" chowders that were very thin, almost watery. I think this is a happy medium.
Above and beyond the recipe, I'd love to open up a discussion on whether this soup should be served with the shells or not. When I posted the written recipe back in January, a friend of mine, Tamar (who publishes the always entertaining blog, Starving Off the Land), left this comment…
"Okay, John, I think it's high time we had the shells-in-food debate. Your recipe looks fabulous, of course, as all your recipes do (don't get me started on the Boston cream pie), but I've always had a problem with shells in my food. It's hard, when you're sitting at the dinner table, to get the shellfish out when the shells are hot and covered with soup, or Bouillabaisse, or marinara sauce, and still be elegant and refined. (And you know how concerned I am with elegance and refinement.)So, what do you think? I'm a firm believer in serving the soup with the shells, but I shall save my official argument for the comments section. I hope you enjoy the soup and the debate!
You seem to have a sophisticated, food-oriented readership. Perhaps you should ask them to weigh in. This is a debate whose time has come."
Note: Since this video is hosted on About.com, when you click the player, you will be taken off the blog to the video page. For the ingredients, click here to see the original post.
Clams Photo (c) starvingofftheland.com