Jay's Favorite Quick And Easy Clam Chowder

My husband loves clam chowder.  Thankfully, he loves this version and it is truly quick and easy.

4 cans (6.5 oz) minced clams
2 (8 oz) bottles clam juice
3/4 c water
4 slices bacon, minced
1 onion, chopped fine
1/4 c flour
5 medium potatoes (I use red), cleaned and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 bay leaves
1/4 t dried thyme (or 1 t fresh, minced)
1 c heavy cream

Drain clams, reserving the juice.  Add bottled clam juice to the reserved juice to measure 4 1/4 c.  Add enough water (about 3/4 c) to make it 5 cups of liquid.

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until lightly crispy.  Stir in onion and cook until onion is translucent and bacon is crisp.

Stir flour into onion and bacon mixture, stirring until onion and bacon are well coated.  Gradually whisk in the 5 cups of liquid (clam juice + water).  Stir in potatoes, bay leaves and thyme.  Bring to simmer and cook about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Stir in clams and cream.  Return to simmer then remove from heat.  Discard bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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