Folks on the Outer Banks have a love for a unique style of clam chowder. Hatteras Clam Chowder is a simple broth-based chowder perfect for cold winter nights on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
All the recipes you'll find for Hatteras chowder consist of basic ingredients of clams, bacon, onions and potatoes. Onions and potatoes were simple staples that could be found in residents pantries going back 200 years. Most folks also had salt pork, or what we call bacon today. Living on the coastal shoreline, digging up clams was as easy as heading to the beach at low tide. Making Hatteras chowder is a little easier today.
This simple soup is hardy and delicious and is lighter then traditional clam chowders. If you're lucky enough to live on the Outer Banks, littlenecks or cherrystones are easy to find for this recipe. The smaller the clam the more tender and sweet it is and I prefer it chopped in this soup.
Baby clams can also be found at your local grocery store along with bottled and canned clam juice, which you'll need for this recipe. Check the tuna fish aisle, seafood counter or juice aisle where you would find lemon juice. The canned juice is not as rich tasting as the bottled clam juice. Feel free to swap out vegetable broth if you have trouble finding canned clam juice. The bottled juice is easier to find and normally always stocked at your grocer.
Hatteras Clam Chowder
- 8 slices of bacon, chopped
- 2 teaspoons bacon drippings
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 6 redskin potatoes, diced
- 3 cups canned clam juice or vegetable broth
- 4 (8-ounce) bottles Bumble Bee clam juice
- Cracked pepper to taste
- 1 pint fresh clams with juice, chopped or two 10-ounce cans Bumble Bee baby clams, drained
- Fresh parsley
- Couple dashes of Tabasco
Over medium heat in a soup pot, fry the bacon. After the bacon is crispy remove the pieces to a paper towel to drain. Reserve 2 teaspoons of the bacon dripping and sauté the onion and celery for about 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Add drained clams, a handful of chopped parsley, the cooked bacon,and ground pepper and Tabasco to taste. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes and serve.
Note: Do not add salt to this recipe as the clam juice is salty enough.