My friend Torie served this to us on Friday for lunch last week at school. Let me just say, I think Torie is my new best friend. She knows how to make us teachers feel special, and comfort food at the end of a long week is one of the ways she does that. THANKS AGAIN, TORIE!
1-51 oz can of chopped clams
1 pkg of bacon chopped
1 cup minced onion
2 cup diced celery
3 cups cubed potatoes
2 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart half-and-half cream
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
1. Begin with all your veggies prepped. Pan fry the bacon till crisp, add veggies and sautee them until they have absorbed a lot of that bacon flavor. (Sometimes I split the carrots, onions, celery in one batch, then potatoes in another batch because otherwise it takes a really large pan). Season these veggies as you go, they don't need a whole lot of salt because you are cooking in the bacon fat, but taste every step as you go.
2. Drain juice from clams over the onions, celery, potatoes and carrots. Add water to cover, and cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Season to taste.
2. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth and cook for 1-2 minutes just to get rid of that raw flour taste. Whisk in cream and stir constantly until thick and smooth. Stir in vegetables and clam juice. Heat through, but do not boil.
3. Stir in clams just before serving. If they cook too much they get tough. When clams are heated through, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
4. This soup really cooks quickly. If you start with your veggies all prepped, it will only take about 30 minutes. And it really doesn't get 'that' much better as it simmers (like most soups would). It's stove to table with a very full bodied flavor as if it has cooked all day. Add milk if it gets too thick :)