Most clam chowders have way too much potato and not enough clams for my taste. I (Bird) developed this recipe fix that. I use an immersion blender to cream the potatoes into the chowder, then add lots of clams. :)
In a large dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the butter, onions, celery, garlic, and bay leaf and cook about 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Add the potatoes and the reserved clam broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer about 30 minutes, until broth has thickened slightly and the potatoes are tender.
Remove bay leaf from pot. Using an immersion mixer (or blender), blend soup to a fine consistency. Stir in the clams and heavy whipping cream. Taste for saltiness, then season with white pepper, salt, and mace (to your liking).
Can be eaten right away, but it's best the next day. Just let cool and refrigerate overnight. The next day simmer the soup to re-heat, but do not boil.