30-50 littleneck clams, in shell
Broth from cooked clams
3 bacon strips
3 medium potatoes, cut in small chunks
1 medium onion, cut in small chunks
2 celery stalks, cut in small chunks
1 cup carrots, cut in small chunks
1 14-ounce can Italian diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste (note, broth is salty)
1 teaspoon thyme
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 tp 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Rinse clams thoroughly. Steam clams by placing them in 1 to 2 inches of water in a large pot. Cover, and place on high heat. Check every minute or 2, until clams pop open (usually 5 to 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Drain broth through strainer and set aside.
Remove clams from shell. Chop clams and set aside. In a large soup pot, cook bacon until crispy; break apart and leave in pot, including bacon grease. Add saved broth to pot with bacon. Add chopped vegetables, diced tomatoes and tomato paste to broth, adding water if needed to make sure all vegetables are covered with liquid. Add chicken bouillon cubes. Add all spices, and bring mixture to a rolling boil.
Reduce heat to medium/low, a slow boil. Cook until all vegetables are tender, approximately 1 hour. Add chopped clams, stir and serve. Makes approximately 8–10 servings.