OLD BAY Seasoning adds just the right blend of spices to season this clam chowder.
3 slices bacon
2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium onion chopped (about 1 cup)
2 ribs celery chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 to 4 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 McCormick Bay Leaves
1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
4 cans (6 1/2 ounces each) chopped clams undrained
Cook bacon in large saucepan on medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon; set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in pan. Add potatoes onion celery bell pepper Old Bay Seasoning and bay leaf to pan; cook and stir 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in milk and clams with juice. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Ladle chowder into soup bowls. Sprinkle with bacon.
For thicker chowder, substitute half-and-half for the milk.