- 1 can (6.5 oz.) chopped clams, drain and reserve juice
- 2 cans (6.5 oz.) minced clams, drain and reserve juice
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 large baking potatoes cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 pound center cut bacon, reserve grease
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 6 stems fresh thyme with leaves pulled off
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups half & half
- 4 cups milk
Cook onions and celery in reserved bacon grease until soft and tender, approximately 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add reserved clam juice and potatoes along with enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring them to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, approximately 15 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon of the dried thyme while cooking the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Take out 3/4 cup of potato/onion/celery mixture and put into a mixing bowl. Cover with 3/4 cup of the broth. Puree with a hand blender (or you can puree in a blender). Return mixture to the pot and add the clams. Then add heavy cream, half & half and milk. Cook on medium high heat for approximately 10 minutes. Add the remaining dried thyme and fresh thyme along with salt and pepper. Serve with crumbled bacon and/or oyster crackers.
Recipe credit: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas by Joyce Taylor, 2003, North Carolina Sea Grant, www.ncseagrant.org.
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