|3 slice smoked bacon • chopped small|
|1 tsp lemon grass • finely minced|
|1/2 cup onion - small • small diced|
|1/2 cup celery • small diced|
|1 garlic clove • sliced thin|
|6 oz butter - unsalted|
|2 oz all purpose flour|
|1 cup heavy cream|
|1 tbsp thyme • finely chopped|
|2 cup idaho potatoes • small diced|
|24 each manilla clams|
|6 drop tabasco|
|3 cup quality clam broth|
|1 oz anise honey|
In a heavy bottom sauce pot, place a small amount of oil and diced bacon. Cover pan and place over low heat.
While stirring occasionally, render bacon until is begins to crisp. Add celery and onions. Cover and sweat over low heat until celery and onions become translucent. Add lemon grass, cook for 2 minutes. Add flour and continue to cook for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. After 3 minutes add the clam broth and stir until smooth.
Bring to a light simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the flour has been cooked out.
Add diced potatoes and half of the cream. Simmer gently until the potatoes are just cooked. Add tabasco, honey and thyme. Season soup with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
At time of service bring the poached liquid back to a strong simmer. Add the manilla clams and cook gently until the clams open. Remove clams from thir shells and place in a small amount of the warm broth for service. Heat 4 vessels for soup.