Smokey Bacon Clam Chowder

I haven’t always been a huge fan of Clam Chowder. It often seems to have more flour and potatoes than clams with a thick gravy-like consistency that is a bit off putting to me. In this recipe I wanted the consistency to be more like a bisque and I used bacon and thyme for flavor. The end result was a rich and satisfying chowder perfect for a rainy day.

Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Serves: 6

  • 3  6.5 ounce cans chopped clams in juice
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 3 strips smoked bacon, diced
  • 1/2  small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small russet potato, pealed and diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • Salt and pepper.

Strain clams and set aside saving the juice.

Cook bacon in dutch oven until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

Cook onions, carrots and potatoes in bacon drippings for 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, clam juice, thyme and salt. Simmer vegetables for ten minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add clams, heavy cream, bacon and bring back to a simmer for about 5 minutes.

Stir together butter and flour until it forms a paste. Whisk the paste into the soup and bring to a simmer. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Take the chowder off the heat and let it rest for about an hour so all the flavors come together nicely. Heat the chowder before serving with sourdough bread and more black pepper.