Reader Feature: Alice Vartanian’s Easy Manhattan Clam Chowder

You’ve heard me mention Alice Vartanian before; she is Christine Vartanian – Datian’s mother, and I KNOW you recognize Christine’s name.

This recipe was showcased in the Fresno Bee Central
Valley Magazine as have other Vartanian-Datian recipes. OK, I know that Clam
chowder is NOT an Armenian recipe, but hey, it’s a great soup – and it’s
January, Soup Month!

The thing that struck me as odd was that the ‘Fresno Bee’
called this recipe ‘Easy New England Clam Chowder’ which is milk or cream-based,
yet the photo clearly depicts a Manhattan-style (tomato-based) chowder. I asked
Christine about it, and she confirmed that the newspaper made an error.

So, on with Alice Vartanian’s recipe for …
Manhattan Clam Chowder 

Special Note:  Alice suggests adding your choice of shrimp,
cod, halibut, flounder, or any favorite fish to this recipe, and making it at
least one day in advance of serving for the flavors to meld.  You can also add more vegetables or broth as

1 lb. red or white potatoes, peeled and diced
2 (8-oz.) bottles clam juice
4 cups low sodium chicken broth or water
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
1 (28-oz.) can solid-packed tomatoes, crushed
2-3 stalks celery (and tops), diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. each Kosher or sea salt, black pepper, dried
thyme, oregano, cumin, marjoram, and crushed red pepper flakes
2 (6 1/2 oz.) cans chopped or whole clams
1 bay leaf
Garnish with fresh parsley, chopped

1. In a large soup pot, combine all of the ingredients
except the clams.  Bring to a full boil;
cover, reduce heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes, stirring now and then.
2. Drain liquid from canned clams and add to soup. If
using whole clams, chop them first and add to soup.
3. Simmer for about 20 minutes longer, stirring
4. Remove bay leaf. Serve soup in warm bowls. Garnish
each serving with chopped parsley.  Serve
with sliced garlic bread, or French or Italian bread slices.
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