Even if you’re not practicing a gluten-free lifestyle this is still a great soup. Because it uses a pure starch like cornstarch you get a cleaner flavor and texture. See the recipe notes for handling instructions on this soup.
Yield: about 3 quarts
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 lb bacon, diced 1/2 inch
2 cups celery, diced 1/4 inch
2 cups yellow onion, diced 1/4 inch
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, diced 1/2 inch
5 large garlic cloves, chopped (about 3 Tbsp.)
1 quart whole milk, divided
1 quart heavy cream
4-6.5 oz cans of chopped clams
2 cups of shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp. clam base (optional)
Kosher Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Melt the butter on medium heat in an 8 quart pot
Add the diced bacon, turn the heat to low and cook until all the fat is melted and bacon is just starting to brown.
Add celery and onion to the bacon, season with a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook on low heat until the vegetables are tender. This will take about ten minutes.
Add the diced potatoes to the veggie/bacon mixture and season again with salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes.
Add the chopped garlic and cook for two minutes.
Set aside 1/2 cup of the milk in a small bowl and keep it in the fridge. Add the remaining milk and cream to the pot with the vegetables and turn the heat up to medium-low.
Cook until the potatoes are just tender. DON’T LET IT BOIL OR THE MILK MIGHT SEPARATE. It’s okay to have a few bubbles breaking the surface here and there with lots of steam.
Once the potatoes are tender add the clams and optional clam base. Let it get hot again.
Mix the cornstarch with the cold milk and stir it into the hot soup.
Bring it just to a simmer and taste it. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Stir in the parsley and carrots. Serve immediately
Click Toasty Bread Bowl for instructions on toasting the perfect bread bowl.
This is a great way to use leftover baked potatoes. Dice them and stir them in at the same time is the clams.
I included clam base as an optional ingredient because it can help round out the flavor of the soup. If you don’t have it, no sweat. Just adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
One of the drawbacks of using cornstarch as a thickener is that it’s not as durable as a soup thickened with fat and flour, like a roux. So this isn’t a soup that you can keep hot in a crockpot all day. Only reheat as much as you need when serving the leftovers.