Manhattan Clam Chowder

The key to making a successful clam chowder using fresh clams is not to overcook them. Add the littlenecks to the soup base and cook them as directed, then serve immediately in wide shallow bowls, preferably with a crusty loaf of bread for soaking up the delicious broth.

1 cup canned chicken broth diluted with 1 cup water, or 2 cups homemade chicken broth
2-1/2 cups diced carrots
1/2 pound peeled all-purpose potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium celery stalk with leaves, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed through a press
2 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added stewed tomatoes
2 dozen littleneck clams, well scrubbed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, preferably flat-leaf

1 In a Dutch oven or flameproof casserole, combine the broth, carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, pepper, and celery seed. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.
2 Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
3 Add the clams, cover, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the clams open, 6 to 8 minutes. (Discard any clams that do not open.) Stir in the parsley.

Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 217 calories, 1.9g total fat (0.4g saturated), 19mg cholesterol, 8.2g dietary fiber, 38g carbohydrate, 11g protein, 375mg sodium.