Spicy Potato Chowder

I based this recipe from another recipe I got from a FRIEND who got it from a friend and so on. It is actually from Market Street Grill, a local RESTAURANT in Salt Lake City. Let me just say, SOOOOO good!

Spicy Potato Chowder
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup flour
2 cups peeled and diced potato
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup diced leek
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup apple juice
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 quart half-and-half

Combine the melted butter and flour in an ovenproof dish and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, combine all of the remaining ingredients except the half-and-half in a large soup pan and simmer until potatoes are tender. Stir in the baked butter and flour mixture, which should make everything look slightly less thick than cookie dough. Stir in the half-and-half until well blended and then heat through, stirring occasionally. Makes 6 servings.

TIP: I didn't have clams or clam juice when I made this, but you you can add both. Just replace the apple juice with clam juice and add a can of clams. I also like to add both red and green bell pepper because the red really pops and adds some nice color to this super yummy soup!