Cream-based clam chowders have been around since the mid-1700s, with the newer tomato chowders not appearing in print until the 1930s. (Although some argue that early versions were known as Coney Island or Fulton Market chowders, which were available in the 1890s.) While these newer soups typically have "Manhattan" in their titles, they most likely came to fruition via Portuguese immigrants in Rhode Island.
As a fun side note, the New England versus Manhattan debate over which soup reigns supreme can get pretty ugly. In 1939, a Maine legislator introduced a bill to make the addition of tomatoes into chowder an offense!
For a number of years, one of my daughters was following a vegetarian diet. Not wanting to miss out on the wonderful taste of clam chowders, I worked on a clam-free version. Without the clams or clam juice, I needed to make sure other tastes were bold enough so the hungry soup eater would be more than satisfied.
If it's not important to keep the recipe vegetarian in your household, feel free to use a chicken broth instead of the vegetable broth; we have a wonderful neighborhood meat market that offers their own broths, so I'll typically go that route now that we no longer need to avoid meats.
This recipe is very adaptable; adjust to add your favorite or seasonal vegetables.
Download a one page printable pdf of my recipe by clicking here. Enjoy!