Friday, February 1, 2013

Thick and Creamy Dairy-Free New England Clam Chowder (SCD & Paleo)

 
It’s been years since my last bowl of clam chowder – years!  And oh man, I love clam chowder.  I really crave the stuff.  Lately I’ve been obsessing about it and I’ve had a recipe idea jumping around in my head for sometime now.  This week I finally brought this idea to reality and made an amazing bowl of dairy-free clam chowder that knocked my socks off.  My husband (who is native to the San Francisco/Bay Area, serious seafood lover, and clam chowder connoisseur) gave this recipe a glowing review.  He sat down to dinner, took at bite, and was very surprised by how close it tasted to the dairy laden stuff he grew up on.  And of course, he instantly declared that this was a MUST recipe for the blog.  So I’m not putting this one off.  I’m very proud of this recipe.  It’s very satisfying, tastes like good-ole’ clam chowder, and extremely filling.  I do hope you enjoy this one.  I’m pretty stoked about it.  
Ingredients:
-1 ¼ cups yellow onion (1 medium onion)
-2 cups carrots, peeled and small chop 
-1 cup celery, small chop 
-2 cups celery root, peeled and small chop (1 medium celery root)
-2 six ounce cans of clams, chopped up a bit* 
-1/3 cup cooked and chopped bacon (omit if you cannot find SCD/Paleo bacon) 
-1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped 
-2 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked for at least 5 hours in filtered water)
-5 cups filtered water (or broth)
-3 tablespoons clam juice
-1/2 + 1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 teaspoons garlic granules
-3 tablespoons olive oil (I recommend olive oil for its buttery flavor)
-Ground pepper to taste, and more salt if needed 

How To:
1.  Crisp up 4 to 5 pieces of GOOD bacon in a pan, then give it a small chop.  Set aside. 
2.  In a soup pot, add in the olive oil, onions, celery root, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and saute for 10 minutes on medium low.  
3.  To the onions and celery root, add in the carrots, celery, and fresh thyme and saute for 5 – 7 minutes over medium heat.  Stirring frequently.
4.  When the veggies are tender, add in the two drained cans of clams and 3 tablespoons clam juice (do not add in all the clam juice from both cansjust 3 tablespoons).  Stir clams around with the veggies.  Then add in the final 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons garlic granules, and 2 cups of water (or broth).  Bring to a simmer for 3 minutes.  
5.  While the veggies and clams are gently simmering, drain the cashews and add them to a blender with 3 cups filtered water.  Blend on high for 30 seconds.  
6.  Immediately add the blended cashews to the pot with the veggies and clams. Stir and allow everything to come to a GENTLE simmer – please do not boil this mixtureit will not taste great if it burns on the bottom.  Simmer very gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot, making sure the veggies and cashew cream does not stick.  I use a large wood spoon, a silicone spatula will also work great.  
7.  The mixture will greatly thicken as it heats up.  After the 5 (gentle) minute simmer, turn the mixture down to very low so the simmering stops, cover, and allow it to continue to warm for 30 minutes, stirring once in a while
8.  After 30 minutes you can serve, or turn the heat off and let the mixture sit.  
9.  When ready to serve, gently heat through, taking care to not burn the mixture.  
-Upon serving, add in some pepper to taste.  Other options include chopped crisp bacon, green onions, a lemon wedge, or chopped parsley. Serves 4

Notes:
*Serve with grain-free crackers to keep this SCD & Paleo or serve with Gluteno original crackers (these taste like those little oyster crackers typically served with New England Clam Chowder).  Grain free “cornbread” is also excellent with this soup.
*The type of clams you use will make or break this dish.  Once I used two 10-ounce cans of baby boiled clams, and I did not like how it turned out at all.  Here is what I used and really liked.  It provided a great clam flavor and overall I was very pleased with the texture and taste.  
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Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, main dish, Paleo, SCD, Soup.

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