Every time I visit San Francisco, CA. I go to pier 39 to enjoy a hot clam chowder bowl. The warm soup and the sourdough bowl are both hearty and comforting. Since we’ve been traveling to the other side of the country, I haven’t had one in a long time. So, this is my version of that wonderful San Francisco bowl.
2 slices thick cut, or 4 slices regular bacon
3 (6.5 oz) cans chopped clams, do not drain
1 celery rib, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ in. cubes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups water, divided
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. Chicken bouillon
1 – 8 oz. bottle clam juice
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. thyme
1/3 cup flour
1 cup heavy cream
4 small sour dough bowls
Chopped cilantro, and chives (optional garnish)
On a paper towel lined microwave safe plate lay the bacon in a single layer, cover with paper towels, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Crumble and set aside.
Heat oil on med-high setting. Add the chopped celery and onion and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add Garlic and cook an additional minute.
Add the bottle of clam juice, 1 cup water, chicken bouillon, pepper, thyme, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
To a medium size bowl, add the remaining water and flour and whisk until smooth.
Once potatoes are tender, slowly add the flour/milk mixture and stir to combine. Make sure you don’t boil just keep on a medium to low heat. Cook long enough for the broth to thicken, about 2 -3 minutes.
Add the undrained clams and stir. Cook for 2 minutes and stir in crumbled bacon.
Cut the tops off the sourdough bowls* and scoop out some of the bread (don’t remove all the bread) to form a bowl. Ladle soup into bread bowl, garnish with parsley, and or chives.
*Serve the top of the bread bowl with the soup bowl, it tastes delicious when dipped into the soup.