Heat a large stockpot over low heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped garlic and let brown. Add the bacon. Let cook for a few minutes and then stir in the pepper, basil, oregano, and bay leaves. Add the onions, celery, sherry, and stock, stirring frequently, 30 to 40 minutes. After the onions and celery are half cooked, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer.
Heat the heavy cream in a medium saucepan. Mix the butter and flour together to form a paste. Add to the cream and stir to incorporate.
Confirm the onions, celery, and potatoes are cooked to desired tenderness, and then add the cooked potatoes, chopped clams and cream. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy of Jay Rodriguez, owner Merritt Canteen, Bridgeport, CT