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Light New England Clam Chowder

Ingredents :

Variations: I used milk in place of the half and half

used frozen potatoes to save time and to thicken it a can of cream of potatoe
or for a really seafood taste  cream of shrimp. I love this version will make this again real soon


    
4 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, undrained   
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
4 bacon slices
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups cubed red potato
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup half-and-half
Thyme sprigs (optional)

Preparation

Drain clams through a colander into a bowl, reserving liquid and clams. Combine clam liquid and clam juice.
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion, celery, and garlic to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Add clam juice mixture, potato, and next 4 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender.
Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth; add to pan. Stir in clams and half-and-half. Cook 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Serve with bacon. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

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