Made from this recipe.

How I changed it to suit my own needs and accommodate my empty pantry:

Martin has put a ban on bacon in this household, so I omitted that.

And we didn’t have celery.

Also, I replaced some of the half-and-half with heavy cream and added more than 1-1/4 cups.

I originally took out about a cup’s worth of the potatoes and mashed that to create a natural thickener, rather than use flour. But that didn’t really do anything to produce a thicker soup, so I slowly added some soup to a scant 1/3 cup of flour (I like my chowda thick) and whisked until I had a thick paste, then added it back to the soup. It came out to just the right thickness and didn’t taste too thick or glue-y at all.

And I added about 10 shakes of Tabasco sauce (I felt the kick and Martin didn’t complain about anything burning his mouth – always a good sign!).

I served it with some focaccia I’d made earlier in the day. I think the focaccia really took it over the top. Is there much better in this world than warm soup on a cold night and fresh bread to dip into it? I THOUGHT NOT. πŸ™‚

Next time, I’d add the potatoes in a bit later. They started to get mealy and who likes a mealy potato? Not me, that’s who!

PS. I miss bacon. 😦