BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Smoky Clam Chowder

  • Prep Time 0:10
  • Cook Time 0:30
  • Estimated Cost $8.50

My awesome neighborhood corner store sells little tins of smoked clams. I’d never tried them before but every time I passed them, thought about how, though I love smoky, bacon-y clam chowder, perhaps smoked clams could lend chowder a touch of smokiness without the help of pork products?

So today, when I went in to beg the store’s friendly proprietors to give me change for $5 (as the change machine at my laundromat was broken, again), I decided to also purchase a tin of smoked clams for a chilly day soup experiment.

The creamy, smoky results tasted much more expensive than the meager $8.50 it cost to make this soup. Crusty sourdough and a green salad turn it into a perfect winter supper.


  • 1 8-oz can smoked clams, packed in oil $2
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter $1 for a stick
  • 4 tbsp flour Pantry
  • 2 cups milk (1%, 2% or whole--not skim) $1.50 for a pint
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced $0.50
  • 4 fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and diced $1
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half $1.50 for a pint
  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish $1
  • salt and pepper to taste Pantry

Recipe Serves 3-4


  1. Melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and stir continuously until a sticky dough forms. Add 1 cup water, slowly, whisking as you pour it in. Continue to whisk as you slowly add the milk. You should have a very creamy soup base.
  2. Add the potatoes, onions and clams with their liquid and stir. You may need to add a bit more water if the soup becomes too thick.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 18-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Add half-and-half, parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve hot, garnished with additional parsley.

Category: Meals

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What They're Saying

Andrew, on Jan 11, 08:26 PM, wrote:

Tried this recipe out yesterday and it came out great! The smoked clams gave it that smokey flavor that I love without even adding bacon. I can’t imagine using a whole pound of clams though. I used 2 3.75 oz tins and there was tons of clams.

dining table, on Jan 11, 09:35 PM, wrote:

This is a nice recipe! I have been making chowders but I haven’t thought of this one!

Your grandmother!, on Jan 12, 05:57 PM, wrote:

Gabi, my dear! This is an absolute delight and the recipes are FANTASTIC! What a wonderful idea. I am so very proud of you! More later, Jenifer

Alice, on Jan 14, 04:55 PM, wrote:

OMG! I am surprised this even made it to the table. I could not stop taste-testing while making this delectable chowder. I purchased smoked oysters instead of clams (apparently my eyesight is poor). SUPER!

RZ, on Jan 25, 10:51 AM, wrote:

Great easy recipe. I’m a college student and this meal felt like a restaurant appetizer without having to leave my apartment.

Peggy, on Nov 7, 08:12 AM, wrote:

I had a lot of difficulty finding smoked clams. I went to Albertsons, Vons, Trader Joes and Ralphs before giving up. I came across them by accident several weeks later at Pavillions.