1 1/4 lbs canned clams, minced, juices reserved
2-3 cups bottled clam juice
2 bacon slices, minced
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 lb potatoes, peeled, diced
3 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
6 Tbsp dry sherry, or to taste
Hot sauce, if desired
Worcestershire sauce, if desired
- Cook bacon slowly in a soup pot over medium heat until lightly crisp, about 8 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 2-3 minutes.
- Combine retained juice from minced clams with enough bottled clam juice to make 3 cups of liquid. Whisk clam juice into onion mixture, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it is too thick, add more clam juice to the mixture. Add bay leaf and fresh thyme. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the clams and cream together in a saucepan and simmer until clams are cooked, about 5-8 minutes. When potatoes are tender, add clams and cream to soup base, and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Stir in sherry, and season with sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce if desired. Serve in bowls with Cracked Pepper Croccantini.