In a large pot cook bacon until browned and crisp. Drain grease. Crumble.
Add butter, onions and celery to pot and cook over medium heat until onions are softened and translucent.
Add flour, cook 3 minutes stirring constantly
Drain clams and reserve liquid.
Add enough water to clam liquid to measure 2 cups.
Add this liquid slowly to mixture in pot, stirring constantly.
Add potatoes and bring mixture to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add clams, bacon, milk, half and half.
Heat until thickened, be careful not to burn.
Add salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley
If soup thickens up to much you can add additional milk
We like to serve it with some freshly ground pepper, a sprinkle of fresh parsley and of course some little oyster crackers or you could also use saltine crackers.This soup is as good the next day or third day as it is the first. After you refrigerate it, it will thicken up so reserve some clam juices or some more milk to the leftovers to thin it out when you reheat it. It is a great make ahead soup.