I know you’ll love this delicious new Clam Chowder recipe! I’ve given the normally super rich West Coast Clam Chowder a healthy makeover but have kept all the delicious flavour and texture. Even those with gluten sensitivities can enjoy this rich and warming one-pot meal. I’ve made this recipe with fresh clams but, if fresh clams are unavailable (or you’re running short on time),take a look at my super easy method: substitute two 10-ounce cans of baby clams and 3 cups vegetable broth and 3 cups of Clamato juice. This will create a more rose looking soup but it is equally delicious!
- 8 pounds small clams, scrubbed
- 1 tbsp butter
- 8 ounces lean bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 celery stalks, minced
- 1 large onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (substitute Shallots if garlic is a problem)
- 1 pounds Red or New potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (the low glycemic version of potatoes)
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cups whole milk or half and half if you enjoy a thick broth (milk allergies? Substitute 1 cup milk free alternative plus 1 c. clamato juice)
- Pink Himalayan salt (1/2 tsp), lots of freshly ground pepper
- Finely chopped fresh chives and sprigs of tarragon to garnish
- If cooking with fresh clams: bring clams and 4 cups water to a boil in a large dutch oven over high heat. Cook until the clams just open up (about 8-10 minutes) . Using a large slotted spoon, move clams to a baking sheet; set broth aside. Let clams cool slightly and set aside.
- Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Add vegetable broth if needed to measure 6 cups. :Clams and broth can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.
Or . . .Fast track method with canned clams:
- Combine canned baby clams with vegetable broth and clamato juice
- Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add lean bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add celery, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent. Add reserved broth (or your fast track 6 cups bottled vegetable broth and clamato juice), potatoes, thyme, and bay leaf.
- Bring chowder base to a simmer; cook until potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes. Stir cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl to form a thickener. Add this thickener into chowder base; return to a boil to thicken.
- Remove base from heat. Discard bay leaf. Stir in reserved clams (or two 10-ounce cans baby clams) and cream. Season with salt, if needed (clams’ brininess varies), and pepper.
Divide chowder among bowls. Garnish with chopped chives and fresh thyme.
I’d love to know what you think? Let me know how your clam chowder turns out?