1teaspoonchopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/4teaspoonblack or white pepper
Dash of cayenne (optional)
2cupspeeled and diced yukon gold or baby red potatoes
Liquid from the canned clams
2(6.5 oz) cans clamsdiced or minced
Place bacon in a large soup or stock pot over medium heat; cook until it's almost crisp. Remove bacon and place on paper toweling to drain. Leave bacon grease in pan and add butter.
Once butter has melted, add diced onion, celery, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper, and cayenne (if using)..
Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until onions become translucent, then add the flour and stir to combine. Allow to cook for 1 minute, add the reserved clam cooking liquid, the diced potatoes, and stock. Bring to a boil, stirring fairly frequently, and then reduce the heat. Simmer until the potatoes are tender - usually about 8 - 10 minutes. Stir once or twice as the potatoes simmer.
Add the clams and the heavy cream. Bring just to a simmer, and then cook for 2-3 more minutes.