A lot of companies make Manhattan clam chowder, none of them very good. The Manhattan style soup depends on freshness and integrity of the ingredients and less on a marriage, so it doesn't can nearly as well as the cream, Boston style.
Why not make your own? Clam chowder is very easy. The trick is to keep a good balance between clams, vegetables and bacon -- and not to overcook anything, especially the clams.
When you choose a recipe off the web don't pick anything that says it's "loaded with vegetables," calls itself "no" or "low fat," or calls for long cooking. Manhattan clam chowder is more about assembly than anything else.
MANHATTAN CLAM CHOWDER
1/4 lb salt pork, pork belly or bacon (preferably not smoked)
1 medium onion, cut in medium dice
1/3 cup celery, cut in medium dice
1/3 cup red, yellow or orange bell pepper cut into 3/8" squares.
2 tbs tomato paste
1 8 oz bottle bottle clam juice
3/4 cup dry Vermouth
2 cups water
2 medium red or Prince Albert potatoes, cut in dice
10 oz can of baby clams, divided
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 10 oz can whole baby clams, drained with juice reserved
Black pepper, fresh and coarsely ground
Prep: Cut the pork into manageable size pieces. If salt pork or pork belly, about 3/8" cubes. If sliced bacon, cut slices about 1/2" wide across the rashers. Cut the onions, celery and bell pepper into a medium mirepoix (about 3/8" x 3/8". (Note: the combination is common in Creole cooking and is called "the trinity.") Peel the tomatoes by blanching them in boiling water to loosen their skins. Seed them by squeezing over a strainer. Reserve the juice. Peel the potatoes, and cut them into 1/2" dice. Drain the clams, reserve the juice.
Put a small kettle over a medium flame, add a little bit of oil immediately, then the pork before the bottom of the kettle is hot. (The oil will help the fat render, so will starting at a cold temp and cooking relatively slowly). Render the fat and cook the pork until crisp and browned. Remove the pork and reserve. Drain off all but 2 tbs of the drippings, and save for another purpose.
To the remaining 2 tbs of fat, add the celery, onions and pepper and saute cook until sweated and tender. Add the tomato paste and cook until it darkens, about two minutes.
Add the clam juice, the reserved liquid from the canned clams, the water, the reserved pork, the potatoes, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are cooked, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Add the parsley and 2/3 of the clams allowing the clams to "cook" with reserved heat. Stir and taste. Adjust for seasoning again (parsley makes things taste less spicy). If you want more clams (you will) add those remaining. Serve.
Varitations: Add 1/2 cup of cracker or bread crumbs with the liquids to give the soup body. Replace the pepper with carrots. Mince a jalapeno and add with the vegetables. Add a minced canned chipotle and some of its adobo (my favorite). Replace the canned clams with 3 doz fresh cherrystones, or vongole or manila clams from a bottle. Etc. Don't be shy, just remember the soup is about freshness, balance and clams. It is not about vegetables. It is not a low fat alternative to "real" clam chowder. It is what it is, and it is wonderful.