Crock Pot Manhattan Clam Chowder

There is nothing like a nice pot of soup on a cold day.  It’s especially nice if you come home to a house that smells like someone has been cooking all day.

I love using the crockpot year round because it makes it so easy to have a good meal after a long and hectic day, but I especially love using the crockpot in the winter because hearty, cold weather soups and stews always taste the best when they have been simmered all day long.

A while back Wade and I were at a restaurant and had bowls of New England clam chowder.  I told him about the Manhattan version (my favorite of the two) which is made with a tomato and garlic base, carrots, celery, onion, and smokey bacon.  Yum!  Wade had never heard of this version. and I hadn’t eaten any in years, so I knew that we would have to have some this fall or winter.  I adapted my recipe from Emeril.  It cooks up especially nice in the crockpot.  Serve with a loaf of warm crusty bread and butter.

•4-5 strips lean bacon, chopped
•2 medium onions, chopped
•1 teaspoon celery seed (or a few stalks of fresh celery, if you have it)
•1 carrot, peeled and diced
•1 1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
•4 cloves minced garlic
•3 bay leaves
•1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
•2 teaspoons dried thyme
•2 Tablespoons dried parsley
•1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
•2 cups chicken stock
•1 large can diced tomatoes, drained
•2 10 oz cans baby clams in their own juice, undrained
•Salt and pepper, to taste- go light on the salt since the clams are already quite salty

Cook the chopped bacon in a skillet until it is slightly crispy. Drain on paper towels.  Mix the drained bacon pieces and all of the remaining ingredients together in a crockpot.  Cook on low for about 8 hours, until the potatoes are cooked through and the onions are translucent.

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