Salmon or clams?

When it comes to feeding a crowd, it’s hard to beat soup — especially on a cold winter day. So why not have soup for the Super Bowl?

With New England in the big game, chowder is a natural choice. But you can easily make a salmon chowder for Seattle fans. In fact, you can use the same recipe to make them both with just a few swap outs.

For a New England-style clam chowder, use canned clams (and reserve the liquid to use as broth). For a salmon chowder, use skinless fresh salmon fillets, cut into cubes.

If you’re making a clam chowder, use bottled clam juice. For salmon chowder, you’ll want fish stock, but I’ll tell you a secret: I’ve been known to use chicken broth in a pinch. It works fine.

Thyme is a  natural herb choice for clam chowder, while dill pairs perfectly with salmon. But to be honest, you could use either or neither in both of the soups.

And that’s it. Make two pots of the recipe below — one clam and one salmon — and you’ll make both sides happy.

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Makes 6 servings

Rich and creamy, this is a hearty soup that works for either Patriots or Seahawks fans with just a few variations.

11/4 pounds canned minced clams or 1 pound fresh salmon fillets, cut into chunks

2 to 3 cups bottled clam juice (or 4 cups fish stock)

4 bacon slices, chopped

1 onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons flour

1 pound potatoes, peeled, diced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or dill)

1 bay leaf

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

1 cup frozen corn kernels (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped fresh chives for garnish

Oyster crackers for serving

Drain clams, reserving liquid in a glass measuring cup. Add enough bottled clam juice to liquid to measure 4 cups. If making salmon chowder, just use 4 cups fish stock.

Cook bacon in a heavy large pot over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

Add onion to bacon drippings. Cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour. Stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in clam juice or fish stock. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add potatoes, thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in milk, cream, corn and clams or salmon. Simmer until thickened and salmon is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in bacon.

Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chives. Serve with oyster crackers.

Categories: Recipes

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