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A Cooking Adventure with Thom

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Shoney's® Original Clam Chowder

Shoney's® Restaurant

Servings:  8



"This creamy soup made by the infamous 'family' restaurant, is made to appeal to the adult in the bunch.  The thick, tasty soup is warm and hearty, perfect to warm you up, or to arouse your appetite before a big meal.  This soup can be found on Shoney's® lunch and dinner All-You-Can-Eat Buffets, and can be ordered separately."



6 dozen hard shell clams, shucked, with juices reserved
or 4 cups canned chopped clams
4 medium potatoes, peeled, ½" diced
4 ounces salt pork or bacon, ¼" dices
2 cups finely chopped onions
4 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper , to taste
1 tablespoon seasoning salt
8 teaspoons butter

Cooking Method

For fresh clams, separate the soft part of the clams (the stomach) from the hard part surrounding it. 

  1. Chop the hard part into fine pieces and set these aside. 

  2. Slice each soft part in two and reserve separately.
    Strain the clam liquor through two layers of cheesecloth and set aside. 

If using canned clams, drain the clams in a fine sieve over a bowl and reserve the liquid.

Peel the potatoes, and use a large knife to chop them into small ½ inch pieces. 

  1. Place the potatoes pieces in a small bowl and set aside. 

  2. Heat up a large frying pan or skillet over low heat. 

  3. Add the slat pork of bacon, and begin to sauté when hot. 

  4. Continue to cook until crisp, slightly browned and heated through. 

  5. When done cooking, remove from the heat and place onto paper towels to drain. 

  6. Do not turn off the heat.

  7. Add the 2 cups of chopped onion to the fat remaining in the pot. 

  8. Turn the heat up to medium and cook the onions, sautéing, for about 5 minutes, until they are translucent but not brown.

  9. At this point, transfer the onions, plus the bacon fat and all, to a large soup pot.  Heat over medium heat until very hot. 

  10. Then stir in the reserved clam liquor, the finely chopped fresh clams (don't add canned clams yet), the milk, and the potatoes.

  11. Stir well for a minute, then cover the pan and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

  12. Stir in the reserved soft parts of the clams (or the canned clams). 

  13. Then dice the salt pork or bacon into small ¼ inch pieces. 

  14. Add them to the soup, along with the heavy cream. 

  15. Let the soup simmer for an additional 3 minutes. 

  16. Add seasoning salt. 

  17. Adjust the amount of seasonings to taste while the soup simmers for another minute or so, to thicken.

  18. Turn off the heat and allow the soup to sit for 1 to 2 hours. 

  19. During this time it should thicken considerably, and the flavors should intensify. 

  20. Before serving, place the soup over medium heat and heat again just until hot. 

  21. Serve immediately by ladling into warmed soup bowls. 

  22. Place a teaspoon of butter on top of each bowl.

819 Mountshire Terrace, Chester, Virginia 23836 Phone: (804) 530-1183