Makes 12-18 servings
- 1/2 pound slab or thick-cut bacon, cut into lardons
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 pints heavy cream
- 2 pints clam juice
- 1 pint milk
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 51 ounce can of chopped clams
- 1 bunch parsley, leaved chopped
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
In a heavy-bottomed pot render bacon lardons. When just starting to crisp, remove and reserve, leaving the fat in the pot. Sweat the diced onion in the bacon fat, seasoning with just a touch of salt. Once onion is soft add butter and flour, stirring or whisking well to develop a roux. Cook the roux until blond and the flour is well incorporated into the fat.
Add, whisking well into the roux, the heavy cream, clam juice, and milk. Bring to a simmer to activate the roux, thickening the liquid. It’s easiest to start with whisking only 1/4 of the liquid first with the flour to ensure everything is smooth, and then adding the remainder of the liquid.
Season the liquid to taste with salt and pepper, and add the diced celery, carrot, and potato. Simmer until vegetables tender, about 45 minutes. Add drained clams and heat them through, approximately 20 minutes.
Finish soup with cayenne pepper and chopped parsley. Serve with oyster crackers.