When it comes to clam chowder, says Imogene Wolcott in The New England Yankee Cook Book (Coward-McCann, 1939), “Rhode Island and Connecticut housewives uphold the tomato. The rest of New England scorns it”. This tomato version, a variation of Manhattan-style clam chowder, is based on one served at Champlin’s in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1⁄2 tsp. Lawry’s seasoned salt
- 2 cups chopped clams, preferably quahogs
- 4 cups bottled clam juice (if shucking quahogs, use their strained liquor to replace some of the bottled juice)
- 4 large white potatoes (about 1 3/4 lbs.), peeled and cut into 1⁄2″ cubes
- 1 (10 3/4-oz.) can condensed tomato soup
- 1⁄2 cup canned tomato purée
- 1⁄4 tsp. cayenne
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Oyster crackers
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and seasoned salt; cook until softened, 8–10 minutes. Add clams, clam juice, and 1 qt. water. Raise heat to medium-high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add potatoes and increase heat to medium-high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until potatoes are almost cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Stir in tomato soup, tomato purée, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until potatoes are tender, 8–10 minutes more.
- Ladle into soup bowls. (The chowder tastes even better when chilled overnight and reheated.) Serve with oyster crackers.