Mom's Clam Chowder

1 onion, diced

2 large ribs celery, diced

3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

1 8-oz jar clam juice

2 6.5-oz cans chopped or minced clams, juice drained and reserved

4 cups water

1-1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups 2% milk

1. In a large pot, combine the onion, celery, potato, jarred clam juice, reserved clam juice (from cans of clams), water, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are just barely tender. Remove from heat.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small (2-quart) pot over medium-low. Add the flour, whisk to combine well, and cook, stirring very often, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Whisking constantly, slowly add the milk to the flour mixture, whisking until completely smooth. Cook, stirring constantly (I can usually get away with "very, very often"), until the mixture is very thick (it reminds me of cake batter). Note: As it gets thicker you really have to stir and watch it so it doesn't scotch.

4. Whisking gently, slowly add the flour roux to the big pot of vegetables, and stir until completely combined. Add the clams, and stir to combine to warm the clams.

Serve 4-6.