Cook Time: 45 minutes
½ cup butter or margarine
1 cup all purpose flour
4 cups clam juice
1 tbl olive oil
1 ½ oz salt pork or bacon ¼” dice
1 large yellow onion 1/2” dice
4 stalks celery ¼” dice
42 oz whole baby clams with juice
1 ¼ tsp dried thyme
1 ¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 med-large russets potatoes peeled and cut to 1/2” dice
2 cups half and half
2 ¼ cups low fat milk
¼ tsp salt
Fresh parsley and oyster crackers for garnish
In a saucepan bring clam juice to a simmer and keep at a bare simmer.
In a large skillet melt the butter on medium heat then add flour all at once whisking vigorously. Continue stirring on medium heat until mixture is toasted and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the hot clam juice whisking about 3 minutes or until combined and free of lumps.
In large stock pot heat oil on medium heat and add the salt pork or bacon. Sauté until brown, about 2-4 minutes. Add onion and celery and sauté until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add thyme and black pepper and stir. Add the clams with juice and bring to boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low and add the butter, flour and clam juice mixture. Add potatoes and stir. Turn heat to medium and cook about 10 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. Add the half and half and milk and cook about 10 minutes. If a thinner soup is desired, add more milk. Season with salt.
Serve hot chowder in cups or bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Serve with oyster crackers, sourdough bread and Tabasco sauce.