Dice the bacon and cook in a 5-quart soup pot slowly over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the bacon is cooked, set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Keep the bacon drippings in the pot.
6 strips thick-cut bacon
Add butter to reserved bacon drippings. Add the diced onions, celery, and carrots. Toss to coat and soften for 5-6 minutes.
1 medium yellow onion, 3 ribs celery, 2 carrots, 2 Tbsp butter
Add the garlic, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Cook for 1 minute.
3 cloves garlic, 1 Tbsp Sriracha hot sauce, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning, ½ tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried parsley, ¼ tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/8 tsp pepper
Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes stirring continuously.
1/3 cup flour or flour substitute
Add the chicken broth slowly, stirring continuously, to deglaze the pot. Add the half and half in the same manner.
2 cup chicken broth, 3 cups Half and Half
Add the bay leaf and juice from the canned clams , but don’t add the clams yet.
clam juice, 1 bay leaf
Bring the soup to just boiling, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, partially covered, stirring occasionally.
Peel and dice the potatoes and add them to the soup. Bring temperature back to a just under a boil and let the potatoes cook through for 20-25 minutes, until fork tender. Reduce heat to low.
2 lbs. potatoes
Add the clams and let them heat through, about 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
3 6.5 oz. cans chopped clams
Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with rough-chopped parsley, freshly cracked pepper, and chopped bacon. Serve with a crusty bread.
fresh parsley, cracked pepper