Clam and Potato Chowder

One of the great things about living on the coast of Oregon,
 is that you have fresh seafood available all year round. 
Really, really fresh!
So fresh, that we went out to the bay this morning and dug the clams up ourselves.
But I have to be honest, I am not a big fan of clams.
I hate, hate big chunks of clams in soups. 
They always get left in the bottom of my bowl.
In this recipe, I chop them up really good.
You almost forget they are in the chowder!
Clam and Potato Chowder
Here is what you will need:
6 or more Clams, cleaned and chopped
(save some of the juice)
1/4 lb Bacon, cooked and diced
1 medium Red Onion, diced
2 sticks of Celery, diced
6 to 8 Red Potatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon White Pepper
4 cups boiling Water
1 quart 2% Milk
4 tablespoons Butter
In a large stockpot cook bacon until crispy, add onions and saute 5 minutes.
(I did have a nice photo to post here and show you but my camera ate it. :o)
Add celery, potatoes, salt, pepper and water.
Cover pan and boil until potatoes are tender.
 (About 20 minutes. Most of the water should be absorbed into the potatoes.)
When the potatoes are tender,
you can either mash some of them up with the back of a large spoon or leave them as is.
Add chopped clams and liquid, milk and butter, heat thoroughly.
Once the soup is heated you can thicken it up with a little cornstarch.
 Put 1/2 cup of the soup in a bowl, add cornstarch and mix.
Add this to the soup and stir until thickend and creamy.
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