2 10 oz. cans whole baby clams;drained (reserve broth) and minced
1 bottle clam juice
5 small potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, finely minced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1/2 pound thick sliced bacon, cut into pieces and fried crisp
1 quart half and half
3 Tablespoons butter
Salt if necessary
Black pepper, freshly ground
Fry bacon until crisp in soup pan. Remove bacon. Add potatoes,onions, carrots, and celery to bacon grease; fry for 5 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add reserved clam broth, bottled clam juice and water to just cover. Bring to boil, turn heat down and simmer until veggies are tender (about 15-20 minutes).
Add chopped clams, half and half, and butter. Simmer 5 minutes. Additional half and half may be needed if too thick. Garnish bowls with freshly ground pepper and reserved bacon.