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JANUARY PAIRING WITH MERE: No Chowder Clam Chowder with Unwined Chardonnay

JANUARY PAIRING WITH MERE: No Chowder Clam Chowder with Unwined Chardonnay

No Chowder Clam Chowder

Since chowder implies a hearty, creamy seafood soup often with bacon as the base, this in not truly a chowder because there is no bacon and no cream. The goal was to satisfy what you crave from a chowder without the added fat. This is perfect for a cold January evening paired with the Crush Collection’s Unwinded Chardonnay, because the creaminess of the chardonnay compliments the “cream-like” texture of the soup, but the wine’s bright fruit notes compliment the soup’s flavors.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 carrots peeled & diced
  • 1 celery rib diced
  • 4-6 (depending on size) red potatoes diced
  • 4-5 ears of corns, kernels removed from cob
  • 1 quart clam juice
  • ¼ tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup dry white wine (we used the Unwined)
  • 3.5lbs clams (we used Littleneck)
  • 1 red bell pepper diced, optional
  • Parsley, optional

Directions:

  • Melt the butter in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add onions and sauté until softened (about 10 minutes)
  • While the onions cook, puree kernels from two-three of the ears of corn (this is what will give the soup a creamy texture; if you want it creamier, puree kernels from four ears and use one ear of whole kernels)
  • Add carrots, celery, potatoes and whole corn kernels to the pan and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  • Add pureed corn, clam juice, fennel seed, thyme, bay leaves, white pepper and dash of salt. Bring to a boil and then turn the temperature down and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring the wine to a boil in a large saucepan and then add the clams and cover. Cook until clams open up, 7-9 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open. Let remaining clams cool. Once clams are cool, you can choose to dice them or keep them whole. Strain liquid clams cooked in to add to soup. (This will add complexity by bringing the taste of the ocean to the soup)
  • At this point the soup has probably cooked for about 30 minutes, add the diced bell pepper if using and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Add clams and strained cooking juice from clams to the pot and cook for another 10 minutes. This is also a good time to check the seasoning to see if you want to add more salt and white pepper for it to pair with the wine.
  • Remove bay leaves and serve with Unwined Chardonnay!

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