The smokiness of bacon and spiciness of sausage, together with the aromatics of fennel and bay leaf make this one of my favourite chowders. This time, I used spicy moose sausages, but merguez is a great substitute. Serve for lunch with a piece of grilled bread and a glass of white wine.Enjoy! Serves 4-6
• 2 lbs whole clams • 1 cup white wine
Cook the clams, covered, with the wine for a few minutes until they open. Reserve the cooking liquid, you should have about 2 cups.
• 1 large onion, finely chopped • 3 tablespoons butter • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced • 1 medium potato, diced small • 3 thickly cut slices of smoked bacon • 2 sausages, cut in slices • 2 bay leaves • 1 3/4 cups milk • 1/4 cup heavy cream • 2 garlic cloves, chopped • a squeeze of lemon • sea salt
In a large pot melt the butter and cook the onions on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the fennel, potato, bacon, sausages, bay leaves and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the reserved cooking liquid and simmer for a few minutes then add the milk, cream, garlic, and lemon. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt.
• 1 cup edamame, blanched for 2 minutes, cooled in icy cold water • small handful of parsley, thinly sliced • few fennel strands
Serve chowder with the reserved clams either in it or in the shell. Garnish with some warmed edamame, parsley and fennel strands.