Seafood Shanty New England Clam Soup Recipe

Clam Chowder (mussel soup)

This is a very traditional, filling New England soup made with potatoes, bacon and mussels. If you don't like mussels, you can also use fish fillet.

Mussels are only available in the months with an "r" - it used to be called because these are the "cold" months when the sensitive seafood does not spoil so easily. Well - in times of cooling and the cold chain, that's no longer true, mussels are available in the wholesale market all year round. However, very rarely only the light-colored clams, which are used in the USA for this delicious soup. Mussels work just as well - or pieces of fish fillet if you are not clam enthusiasts. Water crackers or oyster crackers are usually served with clam chowder - these are simple crackers that you crumble into the soup.

In addition to the Boston Style Clam Chowder - the light one here - there is also a “Manhattan Style” version. It's tomato-based and I have to cook it first 😉


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 75 g breakfast bacon, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp flour (30 g)
  • 600 ml fish or chicken stock (glass)
  • 250 g floury potatoes, diced
  • 100 g corn (canned, drained, optional)
  • 100 g celery, sliced
  • 1 500 g pack of fresh mussels
  • 125 ml milk
  • 125 ml of cream
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • fresh chopped herbs like parsley, chives or dill



Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the bacon, onions and garlic until translucent but not brown. Add flour and fry briefly while stirring.


Pour on the fish stock. Add the potato cubes and celery slices (optionally the corn) and simmer the soup for about ten minutes, the vegetables should not be soft yet.


Scrub the clams, throwing away any ones that have already been opened. Add the mussels to the boiling soup and simmer for another ten minutes. Then stir in the cream and milk and season with the spices. Add herbs and serve hot with crackers.


If you like, you can pull the mussel meat out of the bowls for serving (throw away any not opened!). But that's actually what makes it so appealing when every eater does it himself - so put a fork with the spoon. In proper style, an empty conch shell is used as "pliers".

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