Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 T. flour (can use an alternate like chickpea flour to make gluten free)
½ c. clam juice
2 c. whole milk
½ c. heavy cream
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and cubed (skins can be left on for an easier chowder, and extra nutrition)
½ t. Old Bay seasoning
1 T. fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
2 6.5-oz. cans minced clams, including juice
3 T. fresh parsley, chopped
Oyster crackers or saltines (optional)
1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon becomes crispy, around 4-5 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Blot off excess grease and set aside.
2. Drain and discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from pot before adding onion, and carrots. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and sauté until soft, around 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to prevent it from becoming bitter. Sprinkle with flour and cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
3. Add the clam juice, milk, and heavy cream, and stir until combined. Add the potatoes, Old Bay seasoning, fresh thyme and 1/2 of the cooked bacon crumbles. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired, and stir to combine.
4. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil, then immediately reduce heat to a medium-low. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, approximately 15 minutes.
5. Once the potatoes are cooked, add clams and stir to combine. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, or until the clams are heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Remove from heat and serve immediately topped with remaining bacon crumbles and fresh parsley, or crackers if desired. Enjoy!