Many Hong Kong restaurants have two types of Western soup, white and red. It is as depressing as a choice of white or red wine. There is more to it than colour. Last summer I covered the red soup; it is a tomato soup falsely called borscht(羅宋湯). (John's Kitchen : Borscht). This summer I will tell you about the white soup(周打湯). The proper name for white soup is chowder. Chowder is a milky soup and most of the white soups in Hong Kong are not done correctly, they use too much starch and flavour powder instead of being real soup.
In my family, the classic chowder is New England clam chowder. The (east coast) parts of the USA that used to be British colonies are called New England. New England clam chowder is a part of the food history of that sea coast.
To make New England clam chowder, a simple broth flavoured with some salt, bacon, potato and onion is made as the base. Then clams and milk are added in the last ten minutes of cooking.
The way my mother made it is the only authentic (real) New England clam chowder. There is a different version called Manhattan clam chowder made with tomatoes instead of milk. However since it is not made with milk it is not a chowder, just a tomato soup with clams.
New England clam chowder is served with crackers. My younger brother liked to add so many crackers to his soup that it became a strange form of congee.
There are other popular chowders. Seafood chowder is like a clam chowder, only with a mixture of seafood. A vegetable chowder is a clam chowder, without the clams. Chicken and corn chowder is also popular in parts of America. Chowder is a traditional English and American soup.