1. Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to paper toweling to drain. Coarsley chop bacon and set aside.
2. Carefully pour off all but 1 Tablespoon of the bacon fat. Add the onion to the Dutch oven; cook over medium-low heat until tender and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the reserved liquid from the clams and the potatoes. Lower heat; simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Add the celery soup, milk and pepper to the Dutch oven. Gently heat through; do not boil. Stir in the reserved clams and bacon. Gently heat through. Serve the chowder immediately.
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