This is a hearty soup for a cold day that you can make as thick as you like.
Yields: 8 servings (3 quarts)
1/4 lbsmoked bacon, minced
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 cuppotatoes, peeled and diced
1 cupdry white wine
1 1/2 cupscooked fresh or canned clams (about 4 cans), drained and juice reserved
4 cupsclam juice, fish stock or chicken broth, including the reserved clam juice
1 cuphalf and half, or use heavy cream or evaporated milk
4 tbspcorn starch (more if desired, to thicken)
1/2 cupcold water
3 tbspkosher salt, or to taste
1/2 cupparsley, chopped
1In a heavy bottomed stock pot over medium heat, render the bacon down until thoroughly cooked and just getting crispy, lowering the heat if it starts to brown. Stir in the onion and celery and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
2Stir in the potatoes and white wine and cook five minutes to deglaze the pan. Add the clam juice or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer the soup until the potatoes are just cooked, approximately 20 minutes. Meanwhile stir the corn starch into the cold water until smooth. Stir the corn starch in to the soup when the potatoes are done and simmer just until thickened. Add more dissolved corn starch if you want the soup extra thick. Stir in the half and half, salt and parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
3Stir in the clams and just heat until warmed through. Do not boil at this point or the clams will toughen.