Caramelized Bacon and Onion Clam Chowder is a creamy soup made with clams, chunks of potatoes, onions, bacon and fresh thyme.
Want to hear a good one? I don’t like ANY seafood nor can I eat bacon. So you’re probably thinking “What possessed her to make Clam Chowder WITH bacon?”. It’s ok, I haven’t lost it…yet!
New England Clam Chowder happens to be my 9 year olds favorite soup but I never make it. Instead, we have to wait to go to Panera Bread on a Friday to get it for her (apparently they follow the “fish on Friday” rule all year long because that’s the only day they ever have it on their menu) and then she only eats it out of a bread bowl.
On Thursday, she was one of the candidates running for student council representative for the 4th grade along with several of her friends. All they had to do was write a speech, present it to the class (of 19 kids) and they would vote.
At this age, there is no official title, that’s held for the 6th graders, but she was excited and really wanted to “make a difference”. Gotta love her, she is definitely my little “world peace” child and she WILL be someone influential one day…I just get nervous as to what that might actually be. 🙂
Anyway, I got a message from her teacher during the day that said she lost but that her speech and delivery was terrific. She was devastated…crying hysterically (I’m not kidding) but through it all managed to buy the winner (her friend) a congratulatory cookie at lunch. Again, gotta love her.
So I thought I’d surprise her and make her favorite soup. It started off good, the first 3 minutes, until I got distracted by my friend who was here refinishing my wood floors and I accidentally browned the bacon and onions too much.
Instead of scrapping it, I continued with the process then made him taste it for me (again, I cook by smell and sight when cooking with seafood and it smelled ok so I think he was safe! lol).
He said it was actually really good and liked the flavor the overcooked bacon and onions gave it, so that’s how my regular clam chowder became caramelized bacon and onion clam chowder (that and as you can tell from the picture it’s on the tan side vs. white).
I also had my in-laws test it out too, and it got a “good” from my father in-law which in his language means “you can make it again”. You just never want an “ok” because then the meal is doomed! lol Gabrielle enjoyed it too and in no time was back to her old self. ~Enjoy!
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Caramelized Bacon & Onion Clam Chowder
- 4 Slices Bacon, chopped
- ½ c. Spanish Onion, small dice
- 1 tbsp. Butter
- 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme, removed from stem
- 2 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
- 3 small Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
- 13 oz. Chopped Clams in Juice
- 1 c. Water
- ½ c. Clam Juice
- 1 c. Heavy Cream
- 1 c. Milk
- 1 tsp. Parsley
- ½ tsp. Kosher Salt
- ½ tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- In a medium saucepan, render bacon until it is browned and crispy.
- Add butter and onions and sauté until golden brown and caramelized, then add the thyme and flour.
- Next, separate the clam juice from the clams and add the juice plus the additional clam juice and water.
- Add the potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes until potatoes start to soften.
- In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and milk.
- Add the heated mixture to the potatoes along with the chopped clams, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer 30 minutes. Makes 4 cups.