Back in the "before time," before hugs and indoor dining were life-threatening activities, I used to run a couple of restaurants. My restaurants wouldn't be categorized as fine dining by any means, but we served what I can confidently say was REALLY. GOOD. FOOD. Period. One of the things we did especially well was soup, and one of the best soups we served was our Clam Chowder, which we served every Friday and often sold out before lunch was even over.
While I won't be sharing my restaurant clam chowder recipe exactly, I recently adapted it to utilize the Argentinian Chorizo from my friend and local chorizo guru, The Choriman. I won't say that this recipe is better than the chowder we served at the restaurants on Fridays, but I won't say it's not either. ;-)
Clam and Argentinian Chorizo Chowder
Makes about 3 quarts
1 pound Choriman Argentinian Chorizo
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 (51oz) can of chopped sea clams, including juice
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, diced
1 quart heavy cream
2 cups half & half
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 bay leaves
Dash of fish sauce
Cook chorizo in a large stockpot over medium-low heat, breaking it up as it browns. Remove chorizo to a paper towel-lined plate. Add diced onion and celery to pot and cook over medium heat until onions soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add flour and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the flour no longer smells raw but before it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add clams (with juice) and potatoes to the pot and stir to combine. Return the chorizo to the pot. Add the heavy cream and half & half and stir well. Season with salt, pepper, bay leaves, and a dash of fish sauce.
Bring soup to a simmer and cook until soup thickens to desired consistency, stirring frequently and taking care not to let it boil.
Serve immediately, topped with oyster crackers and chopped parsley, or cool completely and freeze in smaller portions for use on those nights when you need an easy but super delicious meal.