This nourishing chowder is a wonderful soup, with or without the cream. There's a hint of the unfamiliar that makes you want to take another spoonful, and another. Crushing the fennel together with the thyme creates the intriguing flavor.


  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6 thick smoked bacon slices (6 ounces uncooked), cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 3/4 pound medium thin-skinned white potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 can (6 ounces) chopped clam meat, drained (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream, heated
  • Coarse (kosher) salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnishing


Using a mortar and pestle, mini-prep processor, or coffee grinder, crush or grind the fennel seeds and thyme together. (If you use a coffee grinder, be sure to wipe it out afterward.)

In a 2 to 2 1/2 quart heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, cook the bacon pieces over low to medium-low heat, turning as needed to achieve uniform crispness. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel to drain. Pour off the bacon drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons in the saucepan. Chop the bacon into small pieces and set aside.

In the same saucepan, add the onion and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on the flour and the fennel mixture and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the broth, corn, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the clams and cream and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into warmed shallow soup plates or bowls. Garnish with bacon and parsley.

Serves 4

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Submitted 10/16/06.
Source: Everything Tastes Better with Bacon
Submitted By: bobi randzoni

Corn and Clam Chowder with Bacon