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Manhattan Clam Chowder

2 cans whole clams - (6 oz ea)
1 can minced clams - (6 1/2 oz)
Water -- as needed
6 slices bacon -- chopped
2 cans tomato sauce - (8 oz ea)
2 medium onions -- chopped
4 carrots -- peeled, chopped
4 potatoes -- unpeeled, and cut in 1/4" dice
2 celery ribs -- chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 tspn dry thyme)
1 bay leaf

Drain clams, reserving liquid. Combine reserved liquid with enough water to measure 4 cups.

Cook bacon in a stockpot or Dutch oven until crisp. Stir in 2 cups water and tomato sauce. Add onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, salt, white pepper, thyme and bay leaf; mix well. Heat to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add clam liquid mixture; mix well. Simmer until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Stir in clams. Discard bay leaf.

This recipe yields 10 servings.

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