Friday, September 7, 2012

Practically Paleo Clam Chowder

This one is for the caveman's son, who became utterly smitten with New England clam chowder during our time on Cape Cod. We even returned to an out-of-the-way cafe with sketchy service just because he and my nephew insisted they had the best chowder. And they would know, as they made it their mission to sample as many bowls of the stuff as possible.

I'm calling this "practically" paleo as it's pretty hard to get around the white potatoes in a traditional chowder. Please don't hate on me for allowing them in; feel free to skip this one if you find them too objectionable.

I actually adapted a Rachael Ray recipe called "Clam Chowda Mug O Soup" (gag) for this soup. It's even in her children's cookbook, which I hoped would ensure it would be kid-friendly and easy. The recipe also has tons of great reviews on the Food Network website. In the cookbook she doesn't call for hot sauce, but it's included in the online version of the recipe. I skipped it since I was cooking for kids, but would include it if you want a little kick.

All three kids gobbled this one up. It's definitely not as creamy and rich as the stuff you get in restaurants, but I'd argue that's clearly a good thing from a nutritional standpoint. I entertained swapping out the hash browns for sweet potatoes, but was really making this one for the kids, not myself (I had leftover chicken korma). I would love feedback if anyone tinkers with this recipe to omit the white potatoes with positive results.
 Practically Paleo Clam Chowder
adapted from Rachael Ray

2 tablespoons butter or ghee
3 slices thick cut nitrite-free bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery with greens, chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce (optional)
2 tbs. blanched almond flour
1 pint coconut milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup hash brown style raw shredded potatoes (I used Whole Foods' house brand)
2 cans whole baby clams and their juice

Melt butter in a medium-sized pot. Add bacon, onion, celery and thyme. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce and cook for 5 minutes or until onion is soft.

Add flour and stir to combine, cooking one minute more. Add coconut milk, broth, potatoes and clams. Raise heat and bring to a boil, then lower and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and remove thyme sprigs.


  1. Thanks for posting this recipe! We're doing GAPS and I need to make a better version of clam chowder for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. This one looks like a winner. I'll use celeriac instead of the potatoes.