Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bastardized clam chowder with fennel pesto

I'm calling this "bastardized" clam chowder because by the time I was done with it, I'd departed so far from the original recipe as to make it barely clam chowder at all.

I'm trying not to buy more groceries between now and our upcoming vacation, so I'm in the process of poking through the back of the cupboards to see what I can make. I had a bunch of canned clams, but wasn't feeling in the mood for, say, linguine with clam sauce, so I decided to make a Manhattan clam chowder (that's the kind with tomatoes, not the cream-style chowder).

But I was out of a lot of the ingredients. No fresh tomatoes, no regular potatoes, no fresh basil. I started with a saute of shallots and garlic, and deglazed that with some white wine. I added a splash of fish broth, and cut that with some water. Then I added one diced sweet potato (since I didn't have any regular potatoes) and about 3/4 cup of leftover salsa (to replace the tomatoes in the recipe). Once the sweet potato was cooked through, I added two cans of chopped clams, with some of the clam juice, and a bag of frozen corn.

So, really, it was soup with clams rather than clam chowder. At the end, I added some dried Italian herbs and salt, but it was still lacking If I'd had fresh parsley and/or fresh cilantro, I would have added that. But I didn't.

So I stirred in a little of the fennel pesto I made last week, and you know, it was actually the perfect addition. Because it was made so haphazardly, I was skeptical of the end result, but this turned out to be a great bowl of soup.

Which just goes to show you, don't be afraid to experiment. I would never have normally combined sweet potatoes, clams, and fennel pesto, but there you go.

1 comment:

  1. Ok I won't say this looks like my father's Irish stew.Which we all did not like.He sue top open the fridge and through everything in the pot ,cook it and serve it.We ahd (for mum's sake) to pretend we liked it ,which was another hidden dangeour that you would be served more from that big pot.My father is laughing today when we tell him that story but beleive me, for us it was no laughing matter.
    However back to your recepie.It looks ok and ingredients are good.You know it is real challenge when you have to improvize.Cheers