A friend recently made a hearty spicy chowder for a delicious dinner party – we loved it so much, we decided to adapt it in our own DC kinda’ way!
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb smoky bacon slices, diced (can also use pancetta)
4 carrots, peeled and medium diced (about 2 cups)
1 large onion, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
4 celery stalks, sliced into half-moons or diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp dry oregano (fresh is great too!)
3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or some red pepper flakes)
2 fresh large tomatoes, diced
2 medium-large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cans Bar Harbor chopped sea clams and juice (26 ounces) – or 28 ounces fresh chopped clams
2 8-ounce bottles of Bar Harbor clam juice (or any desired brand)
2 cups of water
1 jar Due Cellucci Tomato Basil or Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce
2 large handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped – 1/2 added to final minutes of cook, rest added as a garnish at the table
(NOTE: We love spicy food – but feel free to omit (or kick up) the cayenne or red peppers if desired)
1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat, add in olive oil, then add the diced bacon – cook a couple of minutes to render the bacon fat.
2. Add in all diced vegetables (except the potato) and sweat over medium-low heat until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
3. Add oregano, thyme, bay leaves, minced garlic, and cayenne – give a stir.
4) Add 1 jar of Due Cellucci sauce and all fresh diced tomatoes. Give a good stir.
5) Add both jars of clam juice and 2 cups of water. REDUCE heat, partially cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
6) Add the diced potatoes and handful of chopped parsley, and continue simmering another 10-15 minutes or so.
7) Season some with salt and pepper – rest can be added to taste toward end of cooking
8) Stir in all 4 cans of chopped clams and juice, and continue to simmer another 10 minutes
9) Serve hot with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and fresh parsley for garnish, with a side of crackers or garlic bread