Oyster Chowder

Ingredients (Serves 4)
2 dozen oysters
½ c chopped Pancetta or bacon
3 c chopped leeks
2 T fresh thyme
2 russet potatoes cubed
3 bottles of clam juice
3 c half and half or milk
3 T flour
Parsley and oyster crackers for serving

Directions

  1. Steam oysters in a small amount of water in a large soup pot until they open. Set oysters aside to cool and reserve liquid.
  2. Sautee pancetta in the same pot until crisp. Set aside.
  3. Add leeks to pot and sauté until they soften.
  4. Whisk in flour. Gradually whisk in clam juice, half and half and a bit of reserved oyster liquid.
  5. Add potato and thyme and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potato is tender – about 10 minutes.
  7. Shuck oysters and add them until they are heated through.
  8. Serve with fresh parsley and oyster crackers.