Diane’s Quick & Consciously Creamy Clam Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups clam juice
  • 1 pound red or Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 1 handful fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart cooked and chopped clam meat
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Step-by-Step Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble when cooled.
  2. Add onion, celery, and garlic to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
  3. Add clam juice, potatoes, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Whisk milk and flour in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir mixture into chowder and cook, stirring, over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add clams, half and half and 3/4 of the crumbled bacon, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve garnished with chives and reserved crumbled bacon.
  7. Enjoy!
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