Recipe updated Oct. 11, 2019. Added carrots, made it with chicken broth instead of vegetable for a more pleasant color and added more photos. Served it for dinner and all really liked it!
Happy New Year! When I made the Loaded Baked Potato-Style Cauliflower soup recently, my son and I decided that the same base would probably be really good as a clam chowder, and I could even make it completely dairy-free for those who prefer that. I love New England style clam chowder but it traditionally has a lot of milk and cream and butter…so I have not made it in many years and I am not inclined to order it in a restaurant because it is usually loaded with even more butter and cream than I would make at home. I am not lactose-intolerant, but I think that my morning latte and some cheese is enough dairy for me each day. This soup turned out rich and creamy without any dairy! I am so amazed at what one can do with cauliflower, so my cauliflower obsession continues along with my squash obsession (check out this amazing Parmesan Crusted Delicata Squash recipe from Skinnytaste – I can’t get enough of this — crispy like a high-quality french fry but so much better for you!). I am giving Cooking Light credit for inspiring me to create this soup from their cauliflower soup. Let me know what you think!
Healthy New England Clam Chowder with Cauliflower
Rich, creamy and still very healthy cauliflower-based clam chowder soup.
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb (white bulb only), chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or a teaspoon of dried thyme)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- olive oil
- 1 large cauliflower, florets and stems chopped
- 2 cups unsalted chicken stock (or vegetable stock/broth)
- 2 cups clam juice
- kosher salt to taste (the clam broth will have salt, so taste before salting)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon white miso
- 16 ounce package of frozen clams, shelled
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fennel fronds to garnish
- Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the pot and heat. When oil is hot, add onion, fennel, carrots, thyme, and garlic to the pot and stir often until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock or broth, clam juice, pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Ladle about 80% of the soup (liquid and vegetables) into a blender, add the miso and puree until smooth and creamy. Be careful not to burn yourself on the hot liquid while blending (put a towel over the blender lid).
- Return the blended mixture to the pot. Add clams cook over medium heat for about 5 more minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.
- Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fennel fronds. Enjoy!
- I made this today under quarantine and used what I had available, which was onion instead of fennel, added three large mushrooms and only one bottle of clam juice along with the juice from one can of clams. I discarded the juice from the other can of clams, so I would get more creaminess from the cauliflower. Worked well! I also sauteed the carrots first, and then set them aside. Then I sauteed the onions, mushrooms and garlic and added the cauliflower (followed the recipe here)…then pureed 80% of that (not the carrots), then added the carrots back in after pureeing the other ingredients. Keeps the soup whiter, like traditional clam chowder made with milk and cream. I also added one finely diced chicken sausage (sometimes people add a little bacon – this was a sub) and a handful of chopped kale at the end. Served with a little garlic bread to make it dinner. We all enjoyed it!
January 15, 2019 – updated October 11, 2019