See the original post with photos here.
2 6.5-ounce cans clams, drained and juice reserved
3 medium-large potatoes (I like Yukon Gold), peeled and cubed
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
3 cups water
4 slices bacon
1 cup milk or heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (optional)
parsley for garnish (optional)
1. Cook bacon in stockpot. Dice.
2. Add onion and celery to stockpot with bacon fat. Cook 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
3. Add reserved clam juice and 3 cups of water, potatoes, corn if using, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
4. Puree a small batch of potatoes with an immersion blender to thicken the soup. Or add 1 cup milk or heavy cream with 1 tablespoon cornstarch stirred into it.
5. Heat for several more minutes. Remove bay leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with bacon and parsley, if desired.