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New England Clam Chowder

Ingredients

4 center-cut bacon strips

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 cup water

1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice

3 teaspoons reduced-sodium chicken bouillon granules

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups fat-free half-and-half, divided

2 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) chopped clams, undrained

Instructions

In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain; set aside. Saute celery and onion in the drippings until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the potatoes, water, clam juice, bouillon, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup half-and-half until smooth. Gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in clams and remaining half-and-half; heat through (do not boil). Crumble the reserved bacon; sprinkle over each serving. 

Yield: 5 servings.

Tip: Keep Clams Tender

Homemade clam chowder is a real treat! The trick to wonderfully tender clams is to add them at the end of cooking. If they cook too long, they become tough. —Evelyn Joy, Alameda, California

Nutritional Facts 1-1/3 cups equals 260 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 22 mg cholesterol, 788 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 13 g protein.Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 1 lean meat.

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