Healthy New England Clam Chowder with Cauliflower- updated

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

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Rich, creamy and still very healthy cauliflower-based clam chowder soup.

Credit:  Inspired by Cooking Light

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Ingredients

  • 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

Procedure

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fennel fronds. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • 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!

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https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

January 15, 2019 – updated October 11, 2019

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