The first time I ate clam chowder was for our 15th wedding anniversary, when my husband Scott and I visited San Francisco. Love at first bite is the all I can say. I am not sure if it was the sourdough bread or the clams/bacon combination, but it seemed I couldn’t get enough. Throughout our trip I kept on eating clam chowder so much that when I returned home I researched and tried different recipes until I found the right combination that tasted like the one I ate in San Francisco. Every time I visit California, I eat clam chowder.
I like to serve my chowder in sourdough bread bowls but you can use a regular bowl and serve with a side of sourdough bread for dipping>
Lina’ s clam chowder
25 oz. can of clams
3 thick slices center cut bacon, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 white onion, diced
2 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1 large (or 2 medium) yellow potatoes peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
4 cups of half-and-half
Chopped fresh chives, for topping
3 tablespoons of salted butter
Drain the canned clams and save the juice in a bowl.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the bacon with the butter until the bacon begin to render its fat about 5 minutes (do not overcook). Add the celery, garlic, onion, bay leaf and thyme, season with salt and pepper. Sauté for another 5 minutes, add the flour and cook until creamy. Stir in the clam juice, and then add the potatoes. Reduce the heat and cook until the potatoes are just tender,which should take no longer than 8-10 minutes. Whisk the half and half and the clams and cook throughly (do no boil), season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowl and top with chopped chives.