Ultimate Manhattan Clam Chowder

Ultimate Manhattan Clam Chowder

Ingredients:
2 dozen chowder clams
6 slices bacon
1 1⁄2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 1⁄2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I prefer Red Pack)
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 potatoes, cubed
1⁄2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 lb cooked jumbo shrimp (add this to make the chowder really great) (optional)

Directions:
Steam clams in a large pot and reserve the liquid that is left- it should measure about 3+ cups.
Chop the clams.
In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium/high heat until slightly crisp.
Add the onions and cook, stirring until transparent.
Add the pepper, carrot and celery and cook for about a minute.
Add the clams, tomatoes, clam liquid, water, bay leaf, thyme ground pepper.
Bring to a boil and add potatoes.
Simmer 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Remove the bay leaf. Add chopped parsley.
Add the cooked shrimp now if you plan to use them, but do not continue to cook or the shrimp will get tough.
You should only warm the shrimp over for best results.
Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

-From Genius Kitchen