We were in Mexico over New Years and we went to one of those prepaid New Years parties on the beach where you get a prefix menu. We all had low expectations for the food because we were in Mexico they were serving hundreds of people even in the top restaurants this usually means the food will be sub-par However, we were all pleasantly surprised, the second course was clam chowder soup served in a bread bowl. We all loved it and I made a promise when I got home to come up with a lighter version of clam chowder, so we could enjoy it guilt free.
Clam chowder is a very simple recipe, its easy to make and takes no time to pull together (if you are using canned clams, which I do). It is also very high in calories, sodium and fat because it is traditionally made with regular bacon, heavy cream and high sodium chicken broth.
I substituted the bacon for turkey bacon which is is lower in calories, fat and sodium, used lower sodium chicken broth and I used half in half in place of heavy cream. I considered using fat free half and half to lower the fat count, but fat free half and half is filled with chemicals that you can’t pronounce and you don’t want to put in your body. Go with the regular half and half.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
- 3 strips of turkey bacon, diced
- 2 celery ribs, trimmed and chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
- 8 small yellow yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup water
- 1-8 ounce bottle of clam juice
- 3 teaspoons of reduced sodium chicken base (like bouillon but in a paste, you can use bouillon)
- ¼ teaspoon italian seasoning
- 2 cups of half and half
- 2-6½ ounce cans minced clams, drained
- In a large pot over medium heat add coconut oil. When melted add turkey bacon and stir till starts to brown.
- Add onion, celery and cook for 5-6 minutes until onion starts to turn translucent.
- Add garlic, give a quick stir for 1-2 minutes.
- Add potatoes, water, clam juice, chicken base, and italian seasoning. Bring to a boil and stir.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and leave uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Add clams, half and half and heat through over low heat.