Rustic Clam Chowder

A supremely easy and delicious soup!

0.5 cup   pancetta or bacon, chopped
1 tbsp   olive oil
0.5 cup   onion, diced
1 cup   canned clams (for fresh you need about 40, to cook simply steam until shells open, drain and reserve cooking liquid)
2   potatoes, chopped
1   carrot, chopped
1   bay leaf
1 dash   salt
1 dash   pepper
1 tsp   cayenne powder
2 cups   milk
1 cup   cream
1. Heat oil in stock pot and add pancetta. Fry until fat is rendered and slightly brown. Add onion and cook gently over low heat until soft. Add bay leaf, potatoes and carrot with liquid from clams (or cooking liquid if using fresh) and enough water to make 5 cups. Bring to a boil and cook about 20 minutes.

2. Add clams, season with salt and pepper and cayenne and simmer until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf and add milk and cream. Slowly heat through and serve.

Simple chopping and sautéeing makes this an obvious choice for a quick and filling meal.