2 strips of smoked apple wood bacon, diced
3/4 cup chopped onion2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup water
1 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2-3 ribs of celery
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 Tbsp butter
2 (6 ounce) can minced clams (1 drained, save the juice of one)
2 small sourdough bread bowls
In a frying pan over med-high heat, cook diced bacon until crispy. Add onions, celery, thyme, rosemary and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in water and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
Pour in half-and-half and butter. Drain clams, reserving clam liquid from one can; stir clams and 1/2 of the clam liquid into the soup. Cook until heated through. Do not allow to boil.
Cut tops off bread and scoop out insides. Be careful not to puncture bottom or sides of bowl.
Serve chowder in bread bowls and season with Tabasco and more pepper, if desired.