Looking for a hearty, warm soup to cozy you up from the inside out? New England style Clam Chowder will do just that!
- 4 center-cut bacon strips, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 tsp reduced-sodium chicken bouillon granules
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 c. fat-free half-and-half, divided
- 1 c. water
- 50 ct middleneck clams
- Place 1 c. of water and 50 middleneck clams in a large pot. Cover and cook over high heat until clams open (5ish minutes). Uncover and remove opened clams, discarding the opened shells and setting the clams aside. Cover pot again and cook unopened clams another 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and uncover the pot. Remove opened clams, discarding the opened shells and setting the clams aside.
- Strain (and reserve) the liquid from the pot through a mesh strainer lined with a mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth.
- Coarsely chop clams and set aside.
- In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Set aside.
- In bacon drippings, sauté celery and onion until tender.
- Add garlic, cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
- Stir in the potatoes, reserved clam juice, bouillon, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender (15-20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup half-and-half until smooth. Gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened (1-2 minutes).
- Stir in clams and remaining half-and half; heat through (do not boil).
- Crumble the cooked bacon, sprinkling over each serving.
- Serve with oyster crackers and/or hot sauce if you so desire!