Prep ahead of time yellow onion, celery, Yukon gold potatoes stored in water, bacon, garlic and thyme
2 Cups Yellow Onion, small diced
2 Cups Celery, small diced
4 Cups Yukon Gold Potato (peeled, small diced and stored in water)
2 Cups Bacon, small diced
¼ Cup Garlic, minced
½ Bottle Cuvee 20
2 Cans (13oz) Chopped Clams
4 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Bottle (8 oz) Clam Juice
1 TBL Cornstarch
1 Bay Leaf
4 Sprigs Thyme (picked with little to no stem)
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1. Begin rendering the bacon in the large heavy bottomed pot, over medium to low heat.
2. Once the bacon is browned and crispy, use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon to a separate plate, and reserve about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan.
3. Add the onion to the bacon grease and begin cooking the onion over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
4. Add the celery and cook for 2 minutes.
5. Add the garlic to the onion and cook for another 2 minutes.
6. Add the potatoes and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
7. Off heat, carefully deglaze the pan with the Cuvee 20, and cook until almost all the wine is reduced.
8. While the Cuvee 20 is reducing, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream, and mix until the cornstarch is fully dissolved in the cream. This is will be thick and it is appropriately called a “cornstarch slurry.” When the Cuvee 20 is fully reduced add the clam juice, bay leaf, thyme Salt, Pepper, cornstarch/cream mixture and the remaining heavy cream all to the pan.
9. Bring the soup to a simmer, do not boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low to continue the simmer, and let the soup cook until the potatoes have softened. You will need to stir the soup every few minutes so that the bottom does not burn.
10. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, stir in the rendered bacon and the chopped clams. Find the bay leaf and discard. Check the seasoning to see if it needs more salt.
11. Serve warm with crusty bread and a lemon wedge.