Easy Clam Chowder

This clam chowder is so easy and so delicious, it'll be your new favorite soup! It's January, it's cold and dreary and comfort food just hits the spot! There's something about a warm bowl of soup that just can't be beat in the winter months. This clam chowder recipe is my all time favorite. It's got an awesome unique flavor from the bacon! And it's creamy and delicious from the half and half and potatoes. A good clam chowder is often hard to find, but not anymore! This clam chowder is better than any restaurant chowder! Make it with me!

Let's get started first by saying that I am not a seafood fan. Overall, if you ask me if I like seafood, it's going to be a no. But, there are a couple exception to my seafood rule. One, if it's deep fried, I'll give it a try. Two, if it's raw, in a sushi roll, I'll eat it until I'm full! Three, if it tastes at all fishy, I say no way missy. Okay, that was a stretch of a rhyme but it gets the point across! Any who, like I was saying, I am very particular with what types of seafood I like. BUT, for some reason, I have always liked Clam Chowder. Probably because it's mixed with potatoes and cream that I really like, that I can get past the clams, I don't know! All I know is my stomach has never had a problem with a delicious, thick and creamy Clam Chowder!

This recipe is not going to be your cheapest at home dinner to make! The clams and clam juice can start to add up, especially if you are feeding more than 4 people. In this recipe, it calls for an 8 ounce cans of clam juice. For cost reasons, and fishy flavoring if you are like me, you can substitute this for chicken or vegetable stock. This is a cheaper and less fishy option. That way, this dinner doesn't break the bank!

Next, the potatoes. In this recipe, I like to use red potatoes, because they hold up better in the soup. Sometimes if you get a really soft potato like a yukon gold, if it gets too soggy, it won't hold its shape. I like biting into a cube of potato rather than a mush. If you are out grocery shopping particularly for this recipe, grab some red potatoes! If you are using what you have on hand, anything is fine! Again, thinking about cost, do what makes sense!

Easy Clam Chowder
Yields: 6-8 servings

8-10 strips of bacon
2 tablespoons butter
2 celery pieces, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
3-4 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cub chicken broth
8 ounces clam juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/3 cup flour
2 cups half and half
3 cans of clams, chopped and drained
Bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped green onions

In a dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat. Cook until crisp. Remove from pot and set aside.

Next, add the butter to the bacon drippings. Saute the celery, leek, and onion until tender. Add the garlic and stir. Next, add the potatoes, broth, clam juice, salt, pepper, and the thyme. Turn the heat to high and bring everything to a boil. Then, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, making sure the potatoes are soft.

Next, in a small bowl, combine 1 cup of the half and half with the flour. Stir until smooth with no visible lumps. Gradually add this into the soup.

Return the soup to a boil for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. At this point, add in the remaining half, bay leaf, clams, bacon, and green onions. Heat everything through, about 5 minutes. Serve with warm bread or oyster crackers.

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