- 2 dozen cherrystone clams, rinsed and cleaned
- 8 slices thick sliced bacon, diced
- 2 celery stalks, small dice
- 1 large yellow onion, small dice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 6 cups clam juice
- 2 pounds baby yellow potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- Hot sauce, a few shakes (optional)
- In a large pot set over high heat add 8 cups water to a boil.
- Add in cleaned clams and cover the pot with a lid. Boil for about 10 minutes until all the clams have opened their shells. Discard any clams that have not opened their shell. (If the there is a not enough water to cover the clams add more until the clams are covered.)
- Once clams are cooked remove from the pot and let cool while you prepare the soup.
- In a large soup pot set over medium heat add bacon. Once the bacon starts to render it’s fat add in diced celery and onion. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft and translucent. Add in garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. (If your bacon does not give off a lot of fat drizzle in a little olive oil or a tablespoon of unsalted butter.)
- Add in clam juice, diced potatoes, fresh thyme leaves and bay leaf. Bring to a slight simmer and cook for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender but not falling apart.
- While the soup simmers remove the clams from their shells and chop into bite size pieces, set aside.
- When the clam juice mixture is ready in a small bowl whisk together cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Pour into the soup and boil lightly until the soup starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.
- Take the soup off the heat, remove the bay leaf, stir in chopped clams and heavy cream.
- Taste the soup and add in kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot with a giant slice of crusty bread.
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