Fresh steamed clams make this creamy chowder extra-delicious. But if you can’t get to the market, canned clams work well, too. If you’re steaming clams, you can save time by preparing them up to one day in advance — just be sure to remove the meat from the shells and refrigerate. For a dairy-free version, use olive oil or coconut oil instead of grass-fed butter.
Ingredients for the steamed clams:
2 ½ cups of filtered water
Juice of 2 lemons
2 bay leaves
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
4 pounds of fresh small clams (Manila or Littleneck)
Ingredients for the chowder:
4 ribs celery
4 tablespoons of unsalted grass-fed butter
4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons of coconut flour
¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 cups of clam broth (reserved from the steaming process)
2 (13.5-ounce) cans of full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped tarragon or parsley leaves
- Place the water, lemon juice, bay leaves, garlic, thyme and salt in a large (5- to 6-quart) heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. With the lid on the pot, bring the ingredients to a boil over high heat. When steam is coming out from under the lid, dump all of the clams into the pot and replace the lid. Turn the heat down to medium and allow the clams to steam until they have opened, about 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and drain the clams through a colander into a large bowl. Be sure to save the clam broth to use in the chowder! Discard any unopened clams, as well as the thyme, bay leaves and garlic. Remove the clam meat from the shells and set the meat aside in a bowl. Discard the shells.
- To make the chowder, start by preparing the leeks. Chop off the dark green leaves and the root end of the leeks. Slice them in half lengthwise and run them under cold water to dislodge any sand or dirt. Pat dry. Lay the leeks flat on a cutting board and chop crosswise into thin slices. You should have about 2 cups.
- Trim the celery ribs, slice them lengthwise into thinner lengths, then chop crosswise. You should have about 2 cups.
- Melt the butter in a large (5-quart) heavy pot over medium to medium-low heat. Add the leeks and celery and cook slowly until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Sprinkle in the coconut flour and stir, mixing the vegetables and the flour until the mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pepper and thyme leaves. Add the clam broth and stir, cooking with the vegetables until the soup is thick and saucy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk and clams and heat the chowder through. Stir in the fresh herbs at the end.
- Ladle into 4 soup bowls and serve hot. Serve with a tossed green salad with avocado, tomato and cucumber with your favorite healthy, full-fat homemade dressing. Cool and refrigerate leftovers in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid for up to two days.
Each serving (about 1 ½ cups of chowder) contains:
Saturated fat 35g