Newest New England Ham & Clam Chowder for the Family

Recipe by Debber
READY IN: 1hr 15mins
SERVES: 12-15


  • 8
    slices bacon (at least, more is good too)
  • 1
    large onion, chopped
  • 1 -2
    tablespoon butter
  • 8
    large potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 1
    green bell pepper, deseeded & chopped (or red, orange, yellow)
  • 14
    lb ham, diced (optional)
  • 1
    (46 ounce) can clam juice, divided
  • 2
    cups whipping cream, divided (half-n-half or milk)
  • 2
    tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1
    pinch parsley
  • 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).