Updated: Nov 14, 2020
This is my version of the classic dish, it's a nod to New Orleans.
32 oz of chicken stock, low salt
48 clams, steamed and removed from shells and diced
1 1/2 lb red potatoes, diced but skins left on
1 quart of milk
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 andouille sausages, diced
1/4 lb of bacon, diced
6 stalks of celery, diced
6 tomatoes, diced and seeds removed
2 medium onions, diced
1 red pepper diced
6 tablespoons of flour
3/4 teaspoon of thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot saute the onions, celery, and peppers in the two tablespoons of butter, do this on medium-low heat so as not to brown the butter. Once tender add the chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, now add the potatoes, thyme, and salt and pepper. Once it returns to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.
While the soup is simmering, render off the bacon in a skillet. Remove bacon from skillet and place on a paper towel. Next, add the sausage to the skillet and saute until crisp. Remove from the skillet and drain on a paper towel. Now add both to the soup.
In another pot melt the stick of butter and blend the flour in the butter. Once smooth add the milk to the pot and whisk until the milk thickens, remove from heat, and set aside. You just made a bechamel.
Once the potatoes are just about tender, add the tomatoes to the pot, stir. Next, add the bechamel you just made and the diced clams and simmer for no more than 10 minutes.
Serve with a nice baguette and some parsley as a garnish. Note: if you do not want to steam the clams you will need 26oz of diced canned clams but do not throw away the liquid they are in add it to the soup at the chicken stock stage.