Dear SOS: I recently visited the San Juan Islands off Washington state and loved the clam chowder served at La Conner Brewing Co. in the scenic little town of La Conner, Wash. It is just spicy enough and not so thick with cream or flour. It is a standout in the clam chowder world. Hope the restaurant will share its scrumptious recipe.
Mary Ann Mollenkamp
Dear Mary Ann: La Conner Brewing was happy to share its recipe for clam chowder, so you can have a little taste of Washington here at home.
In a heavy-bottomed stock pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery, and cook until the onions are translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme and dill, and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.
Measure the reserved clam broth, adding additional jarred broth to bring the total volume to 21/2 cups. Add the broth to the pot, along with the potatoes; the broth should just cover all of the contents in the pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the clams, Worcestershire, lemon juice, hot sauce and heavy cream. Gently simmer for 5 minutes to marry the flavors. Taste and season with three-fourths teaspoon salt and one-half teaspoon pepper, or to taste. This makes about 2 quarts soup.
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