New England style clam chowder with toasted croutons and fresh thyme
14 Ingredients To Add Flavor To Canned Clam Chowder
1. Sauteed Alliums
Sauteed alliums (onions, garlic, and other related vegetables) will add complexity, savoriness, and sweetness to your soup, lending it a little homemade flavor.
The onion-and-garlic combo is classic, but you could also use leeks for a French take on clam chowder or shallots for a refined, European accent.
2. Chiles
Canned clam chowder can lack balance, so it’s good to add pungent, sharp, or acidic ingredients, such as chiles, to cut through the thick broth and wake up your palate.
You can add it in by simply sprinkling some chile flakes or cayenne on your bowl, or you can chop up a fresh chile and mix it with your soup.
3. Bacon or Ham
Chunks of ham or bacon go a long way in terms of adding complexity, savoriness, and unctuous fattiness to canned clam chowder.
If you're using ham, you can simply dice it and add it to the pot as you're heating your chowder. For bacon, cut it into small pieces and crisp it up in a pan.
4. Cream
Canned clam chowder often lacks many milk ingredients and can be very thick, making cream the perfect addition to make up for the missing milkfat.
For condensed soup, replace some of the water with cream when you're diluting it. For non-condensed products, simply mix a tablespoon or two into the hot chowder before serving.
5. Citrus
For canned chowder without much milk, a spritz of citrus juice will enhance all the other flavors in the soup with its mouth-watering acidity.
For those worried about curdling, instead of squeezing in some juice, garnish your bowl with grated citrus rind. This will perfume your soup with the aroma of the fruit.