Oyster & Mussel Chowder

Who doesn’t want a comforting bowl of soup when the weather turns frosty? Here in New England, chowder is the name of the game, but there’s no reason you have to stay with the conventional clam. Jody Adams’ oyster and mussel chowder is the perfect mix of tradition and innovation, wrapped up in one delicious package. Make this recipe the next time a nor’easter knocks on your door. Or, you know, any old day of the week.


Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 20 mussels, washed and de-bearded
  • 1 ounce pancetta, 1/8 inch diced
  • 1 cup leek, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fennel, 1/4 inch diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 16 oysters, shucked
  • 4 Marcona almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 4 teaspoons chervil, roughly chopped


  1. Melt one tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the Jerusalem artichokes, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until tender.
  2. Add the flour, and cook for one minute. Then, add the almond milk and cook until thickened, about four minutes.
  3. Puree the mixture in a blender until it’s very smooth and adjust the seasonings to taste.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the pancetta and cook for three minutes, or until rendered. Add the leeks, fennel and garlic, season with pepper, cover and cook for seven minutes or until tender. Add the mussels and white wine. Cover and steam open the mussels, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove the mussels from the shells and discard the shells. Set the mussels aside in a bowl. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened.
  6. To serve, put the pan back on medium heat. Swirl the Jerusalem artichokes puree into the mussel juices. Add the cream, oysters and mussels and stir until the oyster edges have just started to curl and everything is hot. Ladle into four warm bowls, garnish with chervil and almonds, and serve.

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