There are a lot of recipes for New England Clam Chowder (the creamy one) but I have found only a handful for the eastern red-style Manhattan Clam Chowder. When my best friend from high school days called to wish me a happy birthday, the subject of cooking and recipes came into the conversation. She said she had just made one of her favorite soups, Manhattan Clam Chowder. I was anxious to hear about this recipe since soups are one of my favorite dishes to cook and serve. It sounded easy enough and uses ingredients common to most of us, so I decided to try it. My husband and I just loved the flavors and enjoyed the taste even more the second day. This recipe makes about 6 hefty servings and can be frozen for later use.

6 slices bacon, diced, browned, drained; set aside the bacon to add later

Put a little olive oil in the bottom of a large stockpot; heat and add:

2 carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 med. Onion, chopped

Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, then add:

3 (14 oz. ea.) cans chicken broth

1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes

1 lg. (51 oz.) can chopped clams (get at Costco or Sam’s Club)

4 large potatoes, chopped

3 Bay Leaves

1 tsp. pepper flakes

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. thyme

Stir in bacon.

For a broth that is redder in color, you might add 1/4 to 1/2 cup Clamato Juice, regular or picante. I thought it was just right without adding the extra juice. Cook until bubbling, lower heat to low and simmer about 45 minutes. Serve piping hot with toasty rolls or flaky biscuits and butter. If you like a more zesty soup be sure to put the red pepper flakes on the table, or some good salsa.

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