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
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- olive oil
- 1 large cauliflower, florets and stems chopped
- 2 cups unsalted vegetable stock (or chicken 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, thyme, and garlic to the pot and stir often until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock or broth, clam juice, salt and 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!
Note: I used vegetable stock, but it made the soup a brownish-color, if you want it to be a more traditionally white chowder try using chicken stock instead.
January 15, 2019