1 quart clam juice (4 cups) . . . seafood markets usually carry larger cans . . .
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
Salt and ground white pepper to taste
1/4 c. plus 2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. chopped celery
2 large peeled, boiled potatoes, cubed
16 ounces chopped, cooked clams
1 T. sherry
Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Oyster crackers (optional)
How to make it
Saute the celery over medium heat in the 2 Tablespoons of butter until soft, about 6 or 7 minutes. Set aside.
Combine the half-and-half, clam juice, and garlic powder in a large saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Over medium-low heat, slowly bring the mixture to a boil, being careful that the half-and-half does not scald.
In a saucepan over low heat, melt 1/4 cup butter. Slowly add the flour, blending with a wire whisk to a paste-like consistency to make a roux. Add the roux to the slowly boiling pot of half-and-half mixture, adding a little bit at a time. As the soup begins to thicken, add the celery and the cooked potatoes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the clams and sherry. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with some chopped parsley on top and oyster crackers.