Drain clams through a colander into a bowl, reserving liquid and clams. Combine clam liquid and clam juice.
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion, celery, and garlic to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Add clam juice mixture, potato, and next 4 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender.
Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth; add to pan. Stir in clams and half-and-half. Cook 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Serve with bacon. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.
This was a big hit at my house - even the ten year old had seconds. I subbed 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, about 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley. And based on other reviews, I used cornstarch instead of flour. I'll definitely make this again.
I made this for my husband last night and we were both impressed. I made a half batch but used the full amount of flour to make a thick soup. It was actually quite thick and it probably would have been just fine with the halved amount, but my husband likes really thick and hearty soups. I also realized at the last minute that I didn't have any thyme so I used some powdered basil along with more than a tsp. of salt. I will definitely make this soup again. Very quick and easy and tasty. Thanks CL!
I made this earlier today for lunch. 'Twas quite good. However, I did make some changes. I used a big pinch of dried thyme instead of fresh and left out the parsley stems. I was anticipating a thin broth, so for the half-batch I made, I used a quarter cup of flour instead of two tablespoons. It was still too thin for my tastes, so I made a slurry with the half and half and two tablespoons of cornstarch. I also used clam stock I happened to find at the grocery store instead of clam juice. Oh, and I used russet potatoes that I sauteed in the bacon drippings first so they would hold their shape in the soup. Next time, I'll use a bit less potato. It was really good, though. (Especially since I finally found a chowder thick enough for my liking.)
I've made this recipe so many times I've lost count. I love it and everyone who tries it loves it. I made a few modifications. I added a cup of chopped carrots with the celery, onion, and garlic. I did this on accident- oops!- but discovered it actually tastes pretty good. If you add carrots be prepared for the chowder to be a funky color. I always omit the potatoes and parsley. I substitute corn starch for the flour. Makes it nice and creamy, which my partner and I prefer to the very runny version that occurs when the original recipe is followed precisely. Instead of garnishing individual servings with the bacon bits I just throw them back in the chowder when I stir in the clams. I add 2 extra cans of clams and usually 2 extra bottles of juice. This recipe is so wonderful because it can be adjusted in so many different ways and always keeps its integrity. One of my very favorite Cooking Light recipes.
This is the 1st clam chowder I have ever made and it was great! Like some others suggested I added some extra flour, and I also cleaned the pan of the drippings before adding in the celery and leaks.
This is a keeper!
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