How to Make Clam Chowder with Chef Suz

Chef Suz took the opportunity to recreate her version of San Francisco’s legendary clam chowder.

During our San Francisco stop of the Road to Discovery Tour, we tried some incredible authentic clam chowder that we continue to think about. Now that it’s officially soup season, Chef Suz took the opportunity to recreate her version of this crowd-pleasing dish.

Watch the video above to watch how Chef Suz took inspiration from the Bay Area to make her own signature recipe, and check out the instructions for the clam chowder below.


1 pound fresh clams
3 strips bacon
2 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 leek
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 russet potato
1 shallot
.5 cup white wine
.5 cup clam juice
1 sourdough bread


1. Prepare Ingredients
Place clams in a bowl of cold water to soak. Peel onion and cut into small dice. Mince garlic. Trim and discard root and dark green parts of leek. Halve lengthwise, then cut into ¼-inch slices. Place in a bowl of cold water, allowing dirt to sink to bottom. Cut potato into ½-inch dice. Cut bacon into ¼-inch slices.

2. Fry Bacon
Place bacon in an even layer in a large pot over medium heat. Cook until crisping and the fat has rendered, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in pot. Add butter to pot with fat. When butter is foamy, add onion, potato, and leek and cook until softened, 5—7 minutes.

3. Simmer Chowder
Add garlic to pot with vegetables and stir to combine. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour to pot and stir to combine, 1—2 minutes. Add clam juice, milk, and cream and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium low and cook until vegetables are very tender and chowder has thickened, about 15 minutes.

4. Steam Clams
While chowder simmers, peel shallot and thinly slice. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Drain clams. Add white wine and clams to pan with shallot. Cover pan and allow clams to steam until they open, shaking the pan occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove clams from shells, discarding shells, and reserving liquid in pan. Set aside.

5. Scoop Bread
While chowder and clams cook, slice off top quarter of bread, and using your hands, scoop out doughy insides, leaving a ½-inch border around bread bowl. Set aside.

6. Plate Chowder
When chowder is thickened, add clams, bacon, and liquid from pot and stir to combine and warm through over medium heat, about 1 minute. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Carefully ladle into bread bowl and serve.


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