|3 dozen||quahog or cherrystone clams, scrubbed|
|5||slices bacon, finely chopped|
|1||large onion, finely chopped|
|2||large carrots, peeled and finely chopped|
|2||stalks celery, finely chopped|
|1 lb.||potatoes (3 medium), peeled and finely chopped|
|1-1/4 tsp.||dried thyme|
|1/4 tsp.||ground pepper|
|1 can (28 oz.)||plum tomatoes|
|2 tbsp.||chopped fresh parsley|
In an 8 qt. saucepot, heat 1 cup water to boiling over high heat. Add clams and heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until clams open, 5 to 10 minutes, transferring clams to bowl as they open. Discard any clams that have not opened.
When cool enough to handle, remove clams from shells and coarsely chop. Discard shells. Strain clam broth through sieve lined with paper towels into bowl.
In the same clean saucepot, cook bacon over medium heat until browned. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook 5 minutes.
Add clam broth to bacon mixture in saucepot. Add potatoes, the remaining 4 cups of water, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper and heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their liquid, breaking them up with the side of spoon. Simmer 10 minutes longer.
Stir in chopped clams and heat through. Discard bay leaf and sprinkle with parsley. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.