Manhattan Clam Chowder



24 large chowder clams*
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 small onions, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 lbs red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
kosher salt
black pepper