By Danielle Nieman
– 4 Slices of Bacon – Corn, 1 cup – Yellow Onion, chopped, 1.5 cups. – Celery, finely chopped, 1/2 cup. – Water, 2.5 to 3 cups. – 1 Bay Leaf – Red potatoes, 4 cups. Once the potatoes are cooked, mash them. – 2 Garlic Cloves, minced. – Salt, 1.5 teaspoons. – Black Pepper, 1/2 tsp
– Half & Half Cream, 2 cups. – (2) 10-ounce cans of Whole Clams, drained. – Flour, 1/4 cup. – Butter, 1/4 cup.
Add the diced bacon to a large stockpot and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon pieces and place them on a paper towel. Set aside. Keeping the bacon grease, start adding the chopped onions, minced garlic, and finely diced celery to the pot and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Next, add water, salt, pepper, one bay leaf, and the peeled/cubed potatoes to the pot. Stir ingredients together. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes until they are tender. Keep the pot uncovered. This will take about 15 minutes.
You need to make a roux that will add thickness to the creamy clam chowder. Add 1/4 cup melted butter to a small bowl and gradually mix in 1/4 cup of flour until creamy. Set this bowl aside. Add the half and half cream to the large pot and mix. Next, add the roux to the mixture and stir. Begin mashing the tender potatoes with a fork.
Drain the canned clams in the sink and add them to the pot with the corn. You can also add the crispy bacon bits back to the pot. Cook the clam chowder on medium for an additional five minutes, so the soup is heated.
Sample the soup and add more pepper or salt if needed.
Serve immediately and garnish each bowl with fresh chives. Serve with oyster crackers or a couple of slices of french baguette bread.