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Recipe: Manhattan-Style Clam Chowder

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Today's recipe uses canned chopped clams, canned diced tomatoes and bottled clam juice to make Manhattan-style clam chowder with bacon, potatoes and fresh thyme.

Ingredients:
2 8-ounce bottles of clam juice (no salt added) or 2 cups unsalted chicken broth
4 bacon slices
1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup celery
2 cups potatoes
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf (optional)
3 6.5-ounce cans of chopped clams

Procedure:
This is the kind of soup that comes together in stages. Get started by crisping up the diced bacon slices in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. Stay with the bacon and take it out of the pan when it's nice and crisp.

While keeping an eye on the bacon, pick the thyme leaves, dice the onion and celery and cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch dice.

Once the bacon is out of the pan, add the celery, onion, potatoes and fresh thyme to the pot and cook that in the rendered bacon fat until the onion has softened up.

At that point, add the canned diced tomatoes and the two bottles of clam juice, or unsalted chicken broth. Add an optional bay leaf and bring it up to a simmer.

Cook that along at a gentle simmer until the potatoes are just cooked through and then add the cans of chopped clams, add the crispy bacon back to the pot and simmer along for another minute or two and then it is ready to go.

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