Close to three weeks touring India with co-travelers meant a lot of talk about food. At one point, we started chatting “signature recipes.” People tend to want to tell you about their best recipes, and I certainly want to have them. That is how I scored Gil’s Clam Chowder recipe.
Gil (photo, right at the Taj Mahal) was an excellent travel buddy. Great stories, independent, smart, funny, good listener. He’s a retired letter carrier from Colorado who travels “solo.” In fact, he kept going after our North India tour for another few weeks to South India. Solo travelers tell us they love Overseas Adventure Travel tours because they don’t charge a “single supplement.” Brilliant on OAT’s part.
Gil claimed to not cook, but then he fessed up… his signature recipe is Clam Chowder. You cannot be a No-Cook and have Clam Chowder as your “signature.” He jotted the recipe down. One thing made me hesitate — it uses Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup — but I got over it (I once worked for the Campbell Soup Company. Nice place to work but their soups are salty and some ingredients aren’t to my liking. So, EXCEPT for GIL’S RECIPE, I don’t cook with them.)
What a hearty bowl of soup! It is loaded with flavor and I slurped down two bowls. But note: Larry typically doesn’t like cream soups; even with 2% milk, it was rich for him. I took Gil’s jotted notes and cleaned them up to standard form for you:
Gil’s Clam Chowder
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced celery heart and leaves
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 Tablespoon dry Italian herbs
- 1 can cream of celery soup
- 1 soup can of 2% milk
- 1 can diced clams, with juice
- 1 medium Idaho russet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and cooked (I microwaved)
In the bottom of a medium saucepan, heat olive oil on medium-high. Add celery and onion, sauté until translucent. Stir in Italian herbs and heat for about 30 seconds.
Add cream of celery soup and milk, whisk smooth. Stir in clams with juice. Add cooked potato cubes, heat through but don’t boil. Makes 4 servings.