- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 6 ounces good-quality smoked bacon, cut into ½-inch wide pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 stalk celery, cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 2 leeks, washed and cut into ¼-inch pieces, white portion only
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 4 pounds of clams in shell, such as top-necks or cherrystones, rinsed well
- 1 cup fish stock (or half stock/half white wine)
- 4 cups heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Sourdough bread, for serving
- Place the peeled and chopped potatoes into cold salted water and heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are just cooked through. Drain and rinse in cold water until cooled. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook slowly so the fat renders and the bacon goes crispy.
- Add the carrot, celery and leeks and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the thyme and cook until the carrots have softened, stirring frequently.
- Place the clams into a large pot and add the bacon mixture and fish stock. Bring to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook 2-3 minutes, until the clams are mostly opened. Add the cream and potatoes and swirl the pan to blend the liquids together. Return to a simmer and cook another 2-3 minutes. Discard any unopened clams. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve in bowls topped with fresh parsley and lemon on the side. Use the bread to dip up the gorgeous juices.