I don’t know why I haven’t made this lately. I developed this recipe for a fish and seafood class I used to teach at the local culinary school. It might seem bell-less and whistle-less but don’t let it fool you. It is a workhorse soup that is deeply satisfying in a working class bar sorta way. It can easily be whipped up right out of the pantry. Take note not to get carried away with the horseradish. It is subtle in the amount given, just enough to be a mysterious secret ingredient, but if you add more it takes over.
Makes 8 six ounce servings
2 eight oz. bottles Bar Harbor clam juice
2 six oz. cans Bar Harbor clams, drained, chopped and juice reserved
4 ounces bacon, diced
1 1/2 cup yellow onion, peeled and small dice
1/2 cup leek, white part only, small dice
1 cup celery, rinsed and small dice
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1/8 heaping teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups yukon gold potatoes, peeled and 1/2 inch dice
28 ounces Pomi brand chopped tomatoes
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1. Place a 3 1/2 quart heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and render the fat until it is crisp tender, not crunchy.
2. Add the onion, celery and leek. Saute the vegetables until they are tender but not browned.
3. Add the garlic, celery seed, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes. Saute until they become fragrant. A minute or so.
4. Add the clam juice and reserved juice. While you are waiting for the broth to come to a boil taste it and, depending on how salty the clam juice is, season it with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
5. Once the broth is boiling add the potatoes, bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes then add the tomatoes and clams, bring to a boil again then reduce the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning, then simmer until the potatoes are done, about 20 minutes.
6. Just before serving add the horseradish making sure to thoroughly stir it in.