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What to serve with clam chowder?

I plan on making a large batch of clam chowder for Christmas Eve, any thoughts on what else to serve to round out the meal? At first I was going to put out an antipasto salad and then serve a couple of different soups, but got requests for the chowder. Doesn't seem like an antipasto goes with it. Also, thoughts on a second soup? There will only be 10 of us and envision this as a casual sort of thing, not formal sit-down. And plenty of cookies for dessert!

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  1. What type of chowder? New England? Manhattan?

    If NE, there was a great thread about this recently: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/669789
    For Manhattan, the fresh baked bread is good....maybe with a salad of bibb lettuce, shaved fennel, orange segments and black olives.

    Instead of baking bread, you might go the route of making homemade cloverleaf rolls or biscuits- both which are big hits whenever i serve them.

    Second soup is something that might contrast with the other.....maybe something with a little spice, like a vegetarian chili or a chicken tortilla soup.

    2 Replies
    1. re: 4Snisl

      Oh horrors, New England of course! My yankee roots hardly allow for acknowledging the other! No offense to those who enjoy the Manhattan version. Thanks for that thread, I had missed it.

      1. re: bananie

        You crack me up! Since you have a creamy soup, I'd definitely go with something more tomato-oriented. The suggestions I made, while tomato-based, are also fun because you can set out lots of condiments for customization (e.g. avocado, tortilla strips, diced onion, chopped cilantro, etc.)

        (Maybe I shouldn't call the chili suggestions "chili"...;)

    2. With good ole creamy clam chowder, I've had good luck serving a salad of caramelized onion, corn, diced red pepper and diced ham. Just caramelize diced onion in some sugar, add the red pepper, corn and ham and heat through. Dress with a little cider vinegar and some olive oil and serve at room temperature.

      I love the idea of baking biscuits to serve with the chowder.

      Finally, with creamy clam chowder a dark green salad with escarole and arugula, and some sort of cheese is nice, too.

      1. i like the idea of a dark green salad, like spinach, watercress, shredded carrot, diced apple or pear and candied walnuts with a sharp dijon vinaigrette.

        i'd do a platter of sliced turkey, roast beef and swiss cheese, with small soft rolls, condiments and garnishes so your guests can make small sandwiches. i'd leave off the ham since there is bacon or salt pork in the chowder and stay away from anything else creamy or cheesey. one soup, let the chowder be the star. cookies and brownies for after.

        and yeah, my 1st reaction also was, "there is no other kind of chowder other than white," lol.

        1. I'd serve something like a sauteed seafood salad with a combination of tiny salad shrimp and bay scallops or smoked salmon with small roll assortment and a citrus horseradish sauce; a simple caesar salad with fresh croutons....for the second soup, maybe a Brunswick stew which includes all types of veggies and some chicken and/ or smoked sausage.

          1. Ha ha, I was going to say "Oysterettes of course"! My husband won't eat chowder without them.