It is almost criminal to live in Seattle and not like clam chowder. I love how the warm and flavorful soup makes me feel on a rainy day. I had always expected clam chowder to be difficult to make, so I just went to restaurants whenever I had a craving, which was often. It was definitely an expensive habit, so today I decided to try making it on my own. It turned out soooo well, and I didn’t even follow a recipe, which could have been disastrous. I found a list of ingredients on the website of my favorite chowder house and guessed measurements as I went, substituting a few ingredients and adding some additional seasonings until it was perfect. I can’t wait to make it again! Is tomorrow too soon?
- 4 strips of turkey bacon
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 large stalks of celery, diced
- 1 large golden potato, diced
- 1 can of clams (16.5 oz; keep the clam juice)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons gluten free flour
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 (small!) pinch of cayenne
- 2 large pinch of rosemary
- 3 large pinches of parsley
- 1 large pinch of thyme
- 1 large pinch of basil
- 1 small pinch of dill
- 4 tablespoons chopped chives
- Salt and pepper
- Cook the turkey bacon (however you usually do), then crumble it into a large saucepan with the melted coconut oil. Save about 1/2 of a strip of turkey bacon for a garnish at the end. Saute on medium-high for about 1-2 minutes to release the bacon flavor into the oil.
- Add the potato, celery, and onion and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the clam juice from the can of clams and add just enough water to cover the veggies. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- In a separate small saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat and mix in the flour and cornstarch. Stir until well blended (no clumps of flour)
- Heat the half and half in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until warm (to prevent curdling). Then slowly stir the warm half and half into the small saucepan with the butter, flour, and cornstarch. Mix well until the texture is creamy. Lower heat as needed to prevent burning.
- After the large saucepan contents have simmered for 20 minutes, mix in the creamy mixture and the clams and stir well.
- Add the cayenne, garlic, rosemary, parsley, thyme, basil, and dill. Mix well.
- Taste test, then add salt and pepper as needed.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of the chopped chives.
- Serve and garnish with turkey bacon crumbles and the remaining chopped chives.
This recipe serves 4 people as a side, or 3 as a main.