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Yams and clams chowder

I'll do a lot for a good bowl of chowder. I'll drive a long way. I'll stand in line. I'll even stand up while eating it if there aren't enough seats (that's how you know the place has REALLY good chowder). But until now I had never made my own. Duh! Clearly that needed fixing. 

So I made this chowder, loaded with tender clams and sweet yams and seasoned with seafood's lovely friend, dill. Mmm, I want another bowl of this seafood comfort food right now!

Here's how I made it:
makes 4-6 servings

a splash of olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
5 cups yams, peeled and finely diced
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock
2 142 g cans whole baby clams, including liquid
1 cup heavy cream 

I started by warming the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. I added the onion, celery and garlic, cooking for a few minutes until beginning to soften. The yams were stirred in next, cooking a few minutes longer. Then I added the flour, dill, pepper and salt, stirring to coat all the veggies. Next, I added the tomato paste, stock, clams and cream and brought the chowder up to a bubble over high heat. The heat was then lowered to low and I allowed the chowder to simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. To finish, I used a potato masher in the pot to give the chowder a rustic consistency.

Mmm! I love the sweetness the yams give this chowder. So tasty. I wasn't the only one desperate for a bowl of this as soon as it was done cooking. The baby was eager to get a bite too! I got him his own little bowl with his own little spoon and he loved every little bite.

Do you have a favourite chowder place? Do you make your own? What goes in it? Leave a comment and let's talk chowda!