Deb's Clam Chowder

The days are getting colder and I was in the mood for some cozy food!  This soup seemed to fit the bill!  So yummy and easy! xo
    4 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/4 cup chopped carrots
    1 large onion, chopped
    5 ribs of celery, sliced thinly
    1 c Real Bacon Bits, (Kirkland Brand)
    ¼ c flour or 1 cup potato buds for gluten free soup
    3 1/2 cups milk or half & half
    10-ounce can whole baby clams including the liquid or two 6 1/2-ounce cans minced clams including the liquid
    1 small bunch fresh thyme tied with string, for removal later or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    2 pounds red potatoes, diced
    3 T Sriracha hot sauce or to taste
    1 t garlic salt or more to taste
    2 t ground black pepper
    1/2 cup scallions sliced diagonally

    In a stock pot over medium high heat, melt butter with onion, celery and bacon bits until onions are transparent. Add flour and stir in until flour is browning on the bottom of the pot. If using potato buds add after the milk.  Add milk and potatoes, stir until mixture begins to thicken and the potatoes soften. Add clams and liquid, sriracha, garlic salt, pepper and scallions. Taste for seasoning and serve.


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