"A clear broth clam chowder that my Grandfather always made after a day of clamming. He was from Nova Scotia and moved to Boston, then Connecticut shoreline. A basic chowder using minimum ingredients. The memories of this chowder and everyone gathering around to get a bowl is fond to me."
If using fresh clams then steam until slightly opened. Let cool until you can handle them. Take clam out of shell saving all liquid in medium bowl.
Dice 2 onions and place in frying pan with the salt pork or bacon. Fry together on medium heat until slightly brown. Keep this warm.
Peel potatoes and dice into 1/2" cubes. Boil diced potatoes AL-dente and drain.
In a stockpot place clams and liquid from clams or can, drained potatoes, and begin to simmer. It is here that you will determine if you need the 1 cup optional water. If you used fresh clams this may be necessary. Will cut down on saltiness too.
You will add the onions/pork when you feel both frying pan and stockpot ingredients are close to the same temperature.
Adjust salt if necessary and add pepper to taste.
Simmer until ingredients have come together and potatoes are done.