I was tempted to title this Manhattan Clam Chowder ... but I don't make any other kind - let those cream and milk people call theirs "New England" and I won't need a modifier.
Clam chowder reminds me of the Forth of July in the Hamptons - the parade in Southampton - digging for clams on the beach - steamers with lots of butter - the North Sea Volunteer Fire Department's clam bake - tripping over people sleeping everywhere - and parents who thought blaring the radio at 5:30 am to wake them up was amusing - all sorts of memories distilled into one bowl of chowder ...
Of course, this isn't the same chowder - the clams are canned - and the beach is far away ... but it comes close enough. It can and has been modified in many ways - with crab meat, fish of various sorts - green pepper sometimes appears and sometimes doesn't .. but this is just basic clam chowder - the best kind ...3 cans of minced or chopped clams
1 bottle of clam juice
3 or 4 strips of bacon
2 potatoes - white potatoes or red
3 celery stalks
1 clove garlic
1 large can crushed tomatoes
Cook bacon slowly in a heavy pot, until it is crispy.
Remove bacon and add chopped onion, celery, garlic, carrots and cook until the onions are wilted.
Add the tomatoes and clam juice and drained liquid from the canned clams and bring to a boil. Add the chopped, peeled potatoes, pepper (quite a bit) and the nothing-gets-cooked-without-it Thyme!
Notice there is NO salt - the clam juice and clams are salty enough. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked - 30 to 45 minutes.
Add the clams and some chopped parsley and warm it up - it shouldn't really boil - as the clams just need to be warmed or they will get too rubbery.
You can sprinkle some bacon over the top - I don't like it in the chowder because it gets all soft - but you can dump it in if you like ...