( at least, more is good too)
1 -2 tablespoon
potatoes, peeled, chopped
green bell pepper, deseeded & chopped
( or red, orange, yellow)
1 (46 ounce) cans
clam juice, divided
whipping cream, divided
( half-n-half or milk)
salt & pepper, to taste
2 (6 ounce) cans
clams, reserve juice
( chopped or minced)
- In a soup pot, brown the bacon; set aside when crisp.
- Add chopped onion (add the butter if you don't have a lot of bacon grease--otherwise save the butter for *later*--as noted below); saute onion for 2-3 minutes, then add potatoes, saute a few more minutes.
- Add green pepper to the pot, saute for about 1 minute.
- Mix veggies, then add ham and about 1/3 of the clam juice (don't bother measuring, just make sure the potatoes are covered).
- Simmer until the potatoes are just starting to get soft (20 minutes?).
- Add another shot of clam juice and 1 1/2°C of cream (or milk); return to a low simmer.
- Add remainder of clam juice from the big can and reserved from smaller cans; bring to a simmer again, stirring the pot occasionally to prevent sticking.
- ****If you'd like to have a more "rich" chowder, add the butter now.****.
- Mix remaining cream/milk with cornstarch, add gradually to simmering pot until slightly thickened (not goopy, please).
- Add salt and pepper to taste along with pinch (or two) of parsley.
- Remove from heat and add the clams; stir. Allow to rest for two - three minutes.
- Crumble crisp bacon over top of soup; stir.
- Serve immediately along with some hearty home-made croutons (1/2 loaf of French bread, cubed & toasted) and grated Cheddar cheese.
- VARIATIONS: Skip the ham and add 1-2 cups sweet corn kernels.
- ***NOTE*** When the store has a special on peppers, I buy a bunch, clean them up and chop into preparation-size bits, then quick-freeze them on cookie sheets (one-layer deep), then pour them into one-gallon zipper bags to store in the freezer. I keep a smaller container in my kitchen freezer for ready-access (and doesn't take up so much space).