- ¾ pound Thick-cut bacon chopped
- 32 oz. Vegetable broth
- 1 10.6 oz. pkg Wholey® Cleaned Clam Meat
- 3 Garlic cloves minced
- 2 Medium celery ribs chopped
- 2 Medium Yukon Gold potatoes peeled & chopped
- 1 Small white onion chopped
- 1 tsp Fresh thyme chopped, plus additional for optional garnish
- 1 cup Half & half room temperature
- 1 ½ Tbsp Cornstarch
- ½ cup Sour cream room temperature
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp Ground black pepper plus additional for optional garnish
- In large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally; transfer to paper towel-lined plate and reserve bacon drippings.
- In 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir broth, clam meat, garlic, celery, potatoes, onion, thyme, half the bacon and reserved bacon drippings; cover and cook on high 3 hours or low 6 hours or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
- In small bowl, whisk half and half, and cornstarch. Stir sour cream, salt, pepper and half and half mixture into slow cooker; cover and cook on high 30 minutes or low 1 hour or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Makes about 10 cups.
- Serve chowder sprinkled with remaining bacon garnished with thyme and pepper, if desired.