Easy Clam Chowder

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.