Briny, comforting, cozy, and delicious – clam chowder is a fall and winter favorite when it comes to soup! However, there are two very different kinds of clam chowder to choose from, and if you’re expecting one but receive the other, you might find yourself a little taken aback.

New England clam chowder is a soup that is warm and yummy without being too thick and heavy. In terms of lunch, a hot bowl of New England clam chowder is a satisfying kind of meal that’s not dissimilar from a hug in a bowl! The soup will be filled with starchy white potato pieces, onion, clams, and clam juice to give it that perfect salty ocean taste.  To make the flavor even richer, some versions of New England clam chowder may be served with bacon pieces and a generous portion of oyster crackers on top.

Manhattan clam chowder is just as cozy and comforting, but not quite as rich as its New England cousin. It’s a better choice for those looking for a lighter lunch, as the soup has a thinner vegetable and tomato base instead of the thicker stew-like base of New England. Manhattan clam chowder is packed full of vegetables, like tomato pieces, carrots, celery, onion, potato, and occasionally corn. Sharing in the clam chowder tradition, it also features plump and juicy pieces of clam alongside clam juice for that perfect briny flavor. A common accompaniment to Manhattan, like New England, is a generous handful of oyster crackers to melt into the soup’s tasty fresh broth.

Many individuals will firmly and passionately fall into one camp or the other, but we at SoLé Soups are of the school of thought that there is no such thing as a superior clam chowder! When made with fresh ingredients and love, both are perfect for hitting a particular sweet spot or craving at any given time. A chilly day in Thousand Oaks when you want something cozy, comforting, and filling to round out your day? That’s a New England clam chowder moment. A tasty pick-me-up for lunch that won’t leave you with the yearning for a 2pm snooze? It’s time for a delicious bowl of Manhattan which is available seasonally.