- 3 3 3sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 more sprig
- 3 3 3sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 2 2garlic cloves
- 15 15 15to 20 whole black peppercorns
- 2 2 2cups CUP_USVolumewhite wine
- 1 1 1cup CUP_USVolumewater
- 1 1/2 1.5 1.5pounds POUNDWeightlittleneck clams, cleaned
- 2 2 2tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumeolive oil, plus more as needed
- 2 2 2ounces OUNCE_USVolumesmoked bacon, chopped
- 1 1 1small onion or 1/2 large onion, diced
- 2 2 2cloves garlic, minced
- 2 2 2inner stalks celery, diced
- 1 1 1small carrot, diced
- 2 2 2tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumeall-purpose flour
- 1 1 1russet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 1 1cup CUP_USVolumemilk
- 1 1 1lemon, juiced
- 1 1 1Pinch cayenne
- 1/3 .33 .33cup CUP_USVolumeheavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Croutons, recipe follows, for garnish
- Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish, optional
- Special Equipment: cheesecloth, kitchen twine
- Make a bouquet garni by placing the 3 sprigs thyme, parsley, garlic cloves, and peppercorns in cheesecloth and tying with kitchen twine. Add wine, water, and bouquet garni to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the clams, cover with a lid and cook until clams open. Strain the clams into a bowl, reserving both the juice and clams.
- Return the pan to the heat, add olive oil and cook over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy, then add onion and cook for 1 minute. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add celery and carrot and cook until tender. Sprinkle flour into pan, stir to make a roux, and cook until flour is incorporated without letting roux brown. Add more oil if mixture seems dry.
- Add 1 more fresh thyme sprig and place the strained clam cooking liquid back into the pan. Bring to a simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add potato, milk, lemon juice, and cayenne and continue to simmer until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, remove clams from their shells and roughly chop. Add clams back into the pan along with cream; season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat soup, stirring until clams are heated through. Remove from heat.
- Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with croutons and a sprig of fresh thyme. Serve immediately.
ABOUT THIS RECIPE