I do not understand clam juice, and I was more than a little worried about using an entire bottle. It seems like it should be akin to using an entire bottle of fish sauce, which should never, ever happen. Alas, clam juice is apparently diluted so that even a whole bottle will not make your soup very fishy-tasting. So don’t worry. Just upended that whole bottle and let it be.
Recipe adapted from Reluctant Entertainer
bacon pieces, to taste
2 Tbsp. butter
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 small potatoes, cubed
2-4 cups chicken broth (depending on how thick you like your chowder)
1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle rosemary and/or oregano
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half, divided
3 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) of chopped clams, drained
Chopped fresh chives or green onions, for garnish
2. Stir in the potatoes, broth, clam juice, salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil. (Start with less broth. You can always add more later.)
4. In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup half-and-half until smooth. Gradually stir into the soup.
5. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
6. Stir in clams and remaining half-and-half; heat through (do not boil); turn down to low heat; add the bay leaf. Cook for additional 2-3 minutes on low heat. Add bacon to taste.
4. Ladle into bowls. Garnish chowder with crumbled bacon and fresh chopped chives, and/or oyster crackers.