Clam Chowder



  1. Put 2 cups water in a pot over high heat, add the clams, cover, and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook until most of the clams open, 3 to 5 minutes after the water starts boiling, then remove them from the pot, reserving the cooking water.
  3. Let the clams cool.
  4. Remove the meat from the clams and discard the shells.
  5. Cut them into bite-sized pieces.
  6. Carefully pour the liquid - but not the grit - into a bowl.
  7. Rinse and dry the pot.
  8. Put the bacon in the pot over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it renders fat and gets crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it softens, a minute or two.
  10. Cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes.
  11. Add the stock, reserved clam-cooking liquid, potatoes, and thyme to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  12. Roughly mash the potatoes.
  13. Sprinkle the soup with salt and pepper, then add the milk and cream.
  14. Reduce the heat to low, add the clams, and bring just to a gentle bubble.
  15. Turn off the heat, add the butter, and stir until it melts.
  16. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt or pepper, then garnish with the parsley and serve.