4 thick cut bacon strips from Cleavers
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup water
1 bottle (8 ounces) Reese’s clam juice 3 teaspoons Clam Base
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free half-and-half, divided
2 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) chopped baby clams, undrained
In a Dutch oven or stock pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain; set aside.
Saute celery and onion in the drippings until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the potatoes, water, clam juice, base, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup half-and-half until smooth. Gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in clams and remaining half-and-half; heat through (do not boil). Crumble the cooked bacon; sprinkle over each serving.
Yield: 5 servings.