- 2 slices bacon, chopped *
- 2tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 1/2cup strained tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14-ounce) can of clam broth or juice
- 2 (10-ounce) cans of baby clams, juice reserved
- 1teaspoon dried thyme
- 1teaspoon celery seed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1pound waxy potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks (peeling optional)
- 12 live small clams, such as littlenecks or Manila clams
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
- 1 large bunch Swiss chard, coarsely chopped (including stems and ribs)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
*To keep it meat-free you can use a total of 2-3 tablespoons olive oil instead of the combination of bacon and olive oil.
Authentic Manhattan Clam Chowder is used with fresh chowder clams, its juices and broth made from them but I prefer the short cut of using good quality canned chopped clams (I love Bar Harbor's line of clams and clam juice; all preservative free). If you have access to chowder clams use them in place of the chopped clams adding them in with the little neck ones.
Tomato-based clam chowders came about with the new-found popularity of the tomato in the mid-1800s and the large population of Italians in New York and the Portuguese fishing communities of Rhode Island. By the 1930s, this tomato version had come to be called Manhattan clam chowder.