Simple Clam Chowder is a beloved staple of New England cuisine enjoyed throughout the year, whether in summer by the beach or in winter by the fire. Now you can bring those seaside flavors to your own kitchen. Simple Clam Chowder boasts a creamy, savory broth filled with tender-cooked potatoes, salty clams, and a burst of herbiness. Can any dish truly capture that feeling of the seaside? This soup can!
Ingredients• 4 slices bacon, diced • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1 onion, diced • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour • 1 cup milk • 1 cup vegetable stock • 2 (6.5-ounce) cans chopped clams, juices reserved • 1 bay leaf • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced • 1 cup half-and-half, plus more if needed • kosher salt, to taste • ground black pepper, to taste • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped, optional
On the stove-top over medium-high heat, heat a large pot or dutch oven.
Add the bacon and cook until crispy and brown, about 6-8 minutes.
Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside.
Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the bottom of the pot.
Melt the butter in the pot.
Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion is translucent, for about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn't burn.
Stir in the thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Whisk in the flour, stirring until the raw flour smell dissipates and the flour browns lightly, for about 1 minute.
Slowly whisk in the milk, vegetable stock, clam juice, and bay leaf. Cook until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the potatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, for about 12-15 minutes.
Stir in the half-and-half and the clams until the clams are heated through, about 1-2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and more half-and-half if the soup is too thick.
Serve hot and topped with bacon and parsley.