Creamy New England Style Clam Chowder

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.

Clam Chowder | suburbancluster.com

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.

Clam Chowder | suburbancluster.com

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.

Clam Chowder | suburbancluster.com

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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Creamy New England Style Clam Chowder

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

Serving Size: 1 generous cup

Calories per serving: 155

Creamy New England Style Clam Chowder

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 leeks (white parts only, about 3 cups sliced)
  • 3 12 oz packages frozen cauliflower
  • 8 oz clam juice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 3 10 oz cans whole baby clams, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp ground thyme
  • 2 medium rutabagas, steamed and diced

Instructions

  1. Slice leeks (white parts only) and place in a bowl of cold water. Separate layers to remove dirt and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Place the leeks, roughly chopped onion, frozen cauliflower, clam juice, stock and spices in the Instant Pot.
  3. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  4. While the soup cooks, peel the rutabagas and slice in half. Microwave (or steam) for 6-8 minutes or until soft. Cut into small cubes and set aside.
  5. When the Instant Pot is done, manually release the steam and keep on the Keep Warm setting.
  6. Blend the soup base ingredients with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy.
  7. Add the rinsed clams, rutabagas and cream stirring thoroughly to combine.
  8. Let soup warm on low setting until heated through.
  9. Check for seasoning and serve hot.

Notes

WEIGHT WATCHERS SMART POINTS: 5 SP per serving (per the WW points calculator)

NET CARBS: 10 per serving (with rutabagas), 6 per serving (without rutabags)(per the MFP website)

The nutritional information shown above was calculated using the My Fitness Pal and WW websites and the ingredients I used. Values may vary depending on ingredient choices or substitutions.

http://suburbancluster.com/2017/03/31/creamy-new-england-style-clam-chowder/

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