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San Juan Island Clam Chowder

San Juan Island Clam Chowder

Every summer we spend a few weeks boating up in the San Juan Islands just north of Seattle. We go crabbing, fishing, shrimping and clamming. The warm summer months go by in the blink of an eye so I created this recipe to take me back to the salty breezy air and long summer days. Here I use canned clams to make this soup accessible to anyone at anytime of year.


  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Leek (just white part) sliced 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 cups carrots, medium dice
  • 1 cup celery, medium dice
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 3 cups baby red potatoes, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons cream sherry
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups or 2, 8oz bottles clam juice
  • 2, 10 oz can of clams, half of the juice drained
  • 1 pint half and half
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 can of corn, juice drained


  1. In a large pot over medium heat add butter, leek, carrot, celery and garlic. Stir and cook until leeks soften, about 3-4 min.
  2. Add potatoes, thyme, sherry and chicken broth, bring to a simmer.
  3. In a small bowl whisk cornstarch and clam juice together. Whisk into the soup pot. Simmer until thickened, about 5-8 min.
  4. Pour in the clams, half and half, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Lightly simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 min.
  5. Pour in the corn and serve hot.

I love to get a great loaf of sourdough bread to dip in this soup.

San Juan Island Clam Chowder

Make it up to 3 days ahead and reheat.

20 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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