Fresh tarragon and fennel play perfectly with the cream, potatoes and clams.
Tarragon-fennel clam chowder
Start to finish: 45 minutes
6 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, bulb only, diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
8-ounce bottle clam juice
12 ounces canned or frozen clams, chopped
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp and it has rendered all its fat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate and set aside.
Return the saucepan of bacon fat to medium-high heat and add the onion, garlic and fennel. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is very tender. Stir in the flour, coating the vegetables all over. Add the potatoes, clam juice, clams, half-and-half and cream, then bring to a bare simmer.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the tarragon. Serve topped with the crispy bacon.
Nutrition information per serving: 350 calories; 240 calories from fat (69 percent of total calories); 26 g fat (14 g saturated; 0.5 g trans fats); 90 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 12 g protein; 410 mg sodium.