Yield: 6 servings Prep time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 Cup milk
- 2 (6.5-ounce) cans chopped clams (use liquid for the clam juice listed next)
- 1 cup clam juice (add water if needed to make 1 cup)
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 cup half and half
- pepper to taste
- 1 Teaspoon -1 Tablespoon of Old Bay (to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (garnish)
1. Heat a large stockpot of Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Drain bacon fat from pan.
2. Melt butter in the stockpot or Dutch oven and add garlic and onion, cook and stir frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in Thyme and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
3. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, clam juice, and bay leaf, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes.
4. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
5. Stir in half-and-half and clams until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with pepper and Old Bay to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached. (optional: let sit on low for another 15 to 30 minutes before serving for more flavor, stirring occasionally)
6. Serve, garnished with bacon and parsley, if desired.