There are a couple things that are deal breakers for me when it come to clam chowder, these being: the potatoes (they must be firm, not mealy), the soup base (fluid not pudding like), and the overall melding of flavors (no overwhelming bacon taste please).
Taking this criteria into account, I am happy to announce that last night I had the best, most delicious, clam chowder in recent memory (recipe here).
The fact that it had only 320 calories, 11.1 g of fat, and 24.3 g of protein was just icing on the cake.
Note: Little neck clams are expensive! 3 1/2 lbs came in at $20+. Ed and I decided that next time we'll try using frozen or canned clams (which would also be a time-saver).