New England Clam Chowder

Everyone's favorite soup is easier to make than you think.

You Will Need 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 4 large carrots, peeled and diced 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cans (6 ounces each) minced clams, drained, with liquid reserved 1 to 1 1/2 cups canned chicken broth 2 small potatoes, peeled and diced 2 cups milk or half-and-half 1/4 teaspoon each salt and white pepper Paprika (optional)

What to Do 1. Place the butter in a 3 1/2-quart microwave-safe casserole, cover with wax paper, and microwave on High for 1 minute. Add the onion and carrots, cover with the casserole lid, and microwave on High until the onion is glassy — about 5 minutes — stirring once midway. Blend in the flour, cover, and microwave on High for 1 minute.

2. Set aside. Place the clam liquid in a 2-cup measure and add enough chicken broth to total 2 cups. Add the broth mixture and the potatoes to the casserole, cover, and microwave on High until the potatoes are almost tender — about 8 minutes — stirring once midway. Mix in the clams, milk, salt, and pepper. Cover and microwave on High until the chowder steams — 4 or 5 minutes — stirring once midway.

3. Reduce the power level to Medium Low and microwave, covered, for 3 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with the paprika if desired.

Serves: 4

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