Fresh Clam Chowder

Here is my recipe for the perfect clam chowder, made with fresh clams, bacon, and potatoes. Our Fresh Clam Chowder is part of 'A Clam Chowder Lunch with Friends,' shared here

Fresh Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder with Fresh Clams | Hosting Ideas

Prep time


Cook time





Soups + Stews


  • 2 to 3 dozen clams (see Note)

  • 4 ounces bacon

  • 2 leeks or 3 shallots

  • White wine

  • 2 to 3 Yukon gold potatoes (depending on size), peeled and diced

  • Fresh thyme sprigs

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 cups cream or half-and-half

  • Cracked black pepper

  • Fresh chives or parsley, for garnish

  • Good sourdough bread, for serving


Step 1

To remove the sand and grit, soak clams in a bowl of cold water sprinkled with flour for 20 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, cook bacon in pot. Add leeks or shallots and cook until tender. Add a generous pour of wine (about 1/2 cup or so) and clams. Cover pot and remove clams to another bowl as soon as they open, around 10 minutes). Add potatoes to pot with thyme and cook until tender.

Step 3

In a separate saucepan, make a roux with flour and butter. Stir using a wooden spoon for a minute or two. Add cream or half-and-half and stir until warm.

Step 4

Once clams have cooled, roughly chop. Add clams to pot. Check seasoning to taste, adding salt if necessary along with some cracked black pepper. 

Step 5

Allow soup to hang out for a while, so that it has time to cure. Remove thyme sprigs. Gently reheat to serve, adding crispy bacon and fresh chives.

Sarah's Notes: Littlenecks are a bit smaller, so you can use more. However I've made this with only 2 dozen littlenecks and it will still be great.

See the Clam Chowder Lunch here.