I’m sure everyone is intrigued about this recipe since I alluded to it at the end of my Bacon Hush Puppies article. I must say, they were a fantastic combination. I’ve always been a fan of New England Clam Chowder, but I had never made it from scratch before this. Boy, was I missing out. Also, this was the FIRST time I ever had it with BACON! (No, I’m not lying). I don’t know what I was thinking before. Geesh! Get your act together, Chef Rob!

Well, I did. And this is amazingly delicious.

Ingredients

6 Strips Maple Leaf HEARTY SLICE Bacon (Use at least 8 strips of normal cut bacon)

2 Small Onions

3 cloves Garlic

2 ribs Celery

2 cans Clams, juice reserved

1 Baking Potato

2 cups Milk, divided

1 cup Cream (Heavy Cream or Table Cream will work)

1½ tbsp Fresh Thyme (Use less if dried)

Salt And Pepper

Directions

1. Well here we go. Take your nice THICK CUT bacon and chop it up into fairly large pieces. When the thick cut stuff is fried, it will hold up nicely in the soup. So do just that: give that a good frying in the bottom of a large sauce pot.


2. While your bacon is doing its thing, dice up your onions and garlic nice and fine.

3. Add your celery to that list and chop that into ¼“ slices.

4. Once your bacon is crispy and all the fat has rendered out, toss in your celery, onions and garlic. Stir and fry like an expert.

5. Once the onions have gone soft, add in the juice from both tins of clams and stir it all around. Let this reduce for a couple minutes.

6. Measure out your cup of cream and one cup of milk. (Thanks for the interesting-factoid-beaker measuring cup, Steph!)

7. Dump the two cups of liquid along with your two cans of clam meat into the pot and give it a good stir.

8. Grab your baking potato, give it a good wash, then grate it into the soup. I learned this trick from Chef Michael Smith – this is a fantastic way to thicken up your creamy soups without using raw flour or a roux. It adds a nice flavour, too! The potato will disintegrate as your soup simmers and will slowly thicken up.

9. Add your thyme in before you really let this thing simmer. You want to get ALL these flavours melded together.

10. Once your soup has thickened – this should take roughly 20-25 minutes, or so – continue to add the remainder of your milk to thin out the soup as you please. If you want a thinner soup, add more milk. Only after you’ve reached your ideal thickness should you season with salt and pepper. If you do this before, you could wind up with a very salty or very bland soup.

11. Pop a few hushpuppies in a soup bowl (Yes, I made mine huge).

12. Pour your soup around the hushpuppies and, if you’re feeling fancy, sprinkle with a bit of parsley for garnish.