Before cooking the clams, be sure to soak in salt water to remove the sand inside the clams. Some even suggest adding a little corn meal to the water to help rid the clams of sand.
Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hourDifficulty: Medium
- 8 lbs. fresh clams (cherrystones, littlenecks, or quahogs)
- 1⁄4 lb. bacon, chopped
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 2 tsp. thyme
- 2 tsp. dill
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
- Clean the clams thoroughly. Cover them barely with cold water in a large pot, and cover the pot tightly with a lid. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat quickly, and let stand covered for 10 minutes, or until the shells open.
- Remove the clams from their shells and cool. Discard the shells, but reserve the cooking liquid, straining it through cheesecloth. Chop clams and refrigerate. Clean the soup pot.
- Place bacon in soup pot over low heat. Cook over medium heat until golden brown. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease, leaving the rest of the fat and the bacon in the pan.
- Add garlic, scallions, butter, thyme, dill, and bay leaf to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add potatoes to the pot along with all of the reserved clam broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes. Adjust the thickness of the broth by mashing some of the potatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the chopped clams, cream, salt, and pepper.