Loaded Clam Chowder

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Soup.jpgLoaded Clam Chowder

(Serves 4)

1 tablespoon EVOO
3/4 cup small diced onion
3/4 cup small diced red pepper 
3/4 cup small diced potato
1 teaspoon dried thyme 
1/2 pound bacon, cut into half inch pieces
1 pint half and half
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cans minced clams (2 cans of juice reserved)
3/4 cup corn (canned, fresh or frozen)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh minced parsley or basil
Directions:
Heat soup pot with oil over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, potatoes, thyme and bacon. Cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally and until the vegetables begin to soften and bacon is cooked. Bacon will not be crisp. Add half and half and clam juice. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. 
In a separate pan, melt butter over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add flour slowly, stirring constantly. Meanwhile, remove two cups of hot broth from the soup pot. Set aside. Once the flour is no longer visible and turns a golden color, remove from heat. Immediately add broth to the pan, pouring liquid in slowly, one cup at a time and stirring until well combined. Slowly add mixture to the soup, stirring continuously. The broth will become much thicker. Mix in corn and minced clam. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish individual bowls with parsley or basil. Serve hot!
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