Dave Lieberman's New England clam chowder recipe is a good version of the dish. Canned clams are cooked with celery, onions, potatoes, spices, broth and cream for a rich and flavorful soup.
To make New England clam chowder, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add one medium diced onion and two chopped celery stalks, and cook them until they are soft. Stir in 3 tablespoons of flour and add 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock, the juice from 2 cans of clams (set the clams aside), 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 bay leaves and 1 pound of cubed potatoes. Bring to a simmer, stirring often, until the mixture is slightly thickened.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the reserved clams and seasonings such as salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the clams are just firm, approximately two minutes.
Serve this dish with pan toasted croutons. To make them, melt 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, and add 1/2 of a baguette that has been cut into 1-inch cubes. Toast the bread cubes for approximately 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Season with parsley, salt and pepper.