- 7–8 pounds Cherrystone Clams (about 1 1/2–2 dozen large clams, scrubbed of grit)
- 4 cups cold water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 pound thick cut smoked bacon (chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (finely diced)
- 1 medium onion (finely diced)
- 2 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes (peeled and cut into half inch dice)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup celery leaves (chopped)
- crisp bacon
- oyster crackers
- Place the scrubbed clams in a heavy stock pot and add 4 cups cool water. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and bring the water to a boil. When water begins to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes, until clams open. Use a pair of tongs to transfer the clams to a baking sheet to cool.
- Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the clam juice through the sieve to remove any grit. Reserve the juice.
- Clean and dry the pot and place it back on the stove over medium high heat. Add the butter and swirl it in the pan until it melts. Add the chopped bacon and cook 8-10 minutes or until crisp. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the bacon to a dish lined with paper towels. Add the chopped onion and celery to the hot grease and cook until tender and translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in 6 cups of reserved clam juice, potatoes, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- In a small dish combine the cornstarch and water and stir into a slurry. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the soup and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Cook for one minute until broth thickens slightly. Stir in the clams, three quarters of the bacon and the cream.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped celery leaves, remaining bacon and oyster crackers.
- Category: Soup