Spring is such a dirty tease in the Midwest. Inevitably a few warm days trick me into thinking spring has arrived; but then another cold snap usually comes along to slap us in the face. And let’s not talk about the rain. The lingering chilly weather and need for meatless meals (Mr. Cluster doesn’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent) bring me to this Creamy New England Style Clam Chowder.
Traditional New England Clam Chowder starts with butter, flour and cream and then throws in some potatoes for good measure. I recreate that creamy texture with the almighty cauliflower and my trusty immersion blender. If you cook and you don’t have one of these you need to get one. I use it all the time. And since the base is pretty much straight 0 point vegetables I can still add some real heavy cream at the end to make this taste super indulgent.
In addition to cauliflower, leeks play a big role in this soup base. Leeks can carry a ton of dirt in the layers, so cleaning them well is really important. Unless you like dirt soup. The photo below shows how I clean them. Trim the green tops and roots off and then slice the white parts lengthwise. Cut them into half moons and place in a bowl of cold water. Separate all the layers and let them soak for a minute. Then drain into a colander and rinse with clean water.
I use rutabagas to substitute for the traditional potatoes. These can be left out completely for an even lower carb option (see the nutritional information below). I also use 3 cans of baby clams which makes this super chunky and filling, but you could probably also get by with 2 cans depending on your clam ratio preference.
I used my Instant Pot for this recipe because it’s fast and fun. But it’s certainly not a requirement to make this. You could put the base ingredients in the slow cooker or do it in a big pot on the stove top as well. Just make sure to get them really soft before blending.
I could seriously eat soup every day, even in the summer. Hubby…not so much. But he goes nuts over this so I know that means it’s good. If you like clam chowder but don’t necessarily like the nutritional content of traditional versions you need to try this. And if you have the points for it go ahead and add a little cheese and crumbled bacon on top. You won’t regret it.
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