Creamy New England Clam Chowder, gluten free

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

This Friday soup-of-the-day staple is a restaurant favorite, but is often thickened with wheat flour. Here we thicken it with corn starch, keeping it gluten free! For a dairy free version, omit the milk and butter and puree 2 cups of the finished soup in a food processor or blender, then add back to the pot and stir. This will add some body without adding dairy! And if you are lucky enough to have fresh clams, steam open the shells in 2 cups water, then remove clams from shells, using cooking liquid in place of the canned clam juice in step 4.

Serves: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

6 strips bacon, chopped (or turkey bacon)
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, strings removed, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
6 cups chicken broth
3 cans (6.5 ounce size) chopped clams
2 bottles clam juice
8 cups diced red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 Tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 cups milk
3 Tablespoons corn starch
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves

1. Saute Bacon: Cook bacon in a large, heavy pot over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Drain all by 2 Tablespoons bacon grease from pot and return to medium heat. (If using turkey bacon, fry in 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil.)

2. Saute Vegetables: Add onion and celery to oil and saute until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring often.

3. Add Garlic: Add garlic to vegetables and stir to combine. Cook 1 minute, stirring often.

4. Add Liquids: Add broth, juice from cans of clams (reserving clams for later) and bottled clam juice to pot.

5. Add Potatoes: Add potatoes to pot and bring to a simmer. Cook 6 – 8 minutes, or until potatoes are nearly tender.

6. Add Clams: Add reserved clams, Old Bay seasoning and milk to pot and stir to combine. Continue to cook until potatoes are tender, another 5 minutes.

7. Thicken Soup: Mix corn starch with about 1/4 cup of water until smooth, then pour into soup. Stir to combine.

8. Finish & Serve: Add butter and chopped parsley to soup and stir to combine. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!

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