2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, halved lengthwise and
sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
One 8-ounce bottle clam juice
1 1/2 cups water
1 pound freshly shucked clams, chopped
3/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
In a medium casserole, cook the bacon over moderate high heat until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Add the garlic to the casserole and cook just until softened. Add the leeks, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, clam juice and water and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to moderate, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
Add the clams to the casserole and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and milk and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the lemon juice, thyme and parsley and simmer for 2 minutes. Ladle into bowls, garnish with the bacon and serve.