New England clam chowder is usually made with cream and potatoes, but this AIP-friendly version has a special alternative ingredient that makes it something all can eat and enjoy! Be sure to check out the gluten-free oyster cracker recipe also included in the blog post.
- 1 quart water
- 25 littleneck clams (weighing about 2.5 pounds)
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 large onion (about 1 cup when diced)
- 1 medium celery root (weighing about 1 pound)
- 1/2 cup wine (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 cup coconut milk (optional)
- In large pot such as a dutch oven or stockpot, bring 1 quart water to rolling boil. A large pot is needed because clams tend to boil over once they begin cooking. If your pot is on the smaller size, be sure to watch closely and prepare to reduce heat if needed.
- Add clams and cover. Cook for 5-10 minute, or until clams have opened.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked clams and spread on a baking sheet so they can cool.
- Meanwhile, strain and reserve the resulting broth into a large container, discarding any accumulated grit or sediment. You will have a bit more than 1 quart of liquid. Set aside.
- Prepare the next three ingredients as follows: cut the bacon into lardons, peel and mince the onion, peel and cut the celery root into pieces about the size of standard playing dice.
- The clams should be cool enough now to handle, so remove them from their shells and finely chop.
- In the same pot over medium heat, fry the bacon lardons until crispy and bacon fat has rendered (about 5 minutes). Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon, leaving the rendered fat in the pot.
- Cook onion in bacon grease until soft and slightly browned (7-8 minutes). Add celery root pieces and cook for 3 minutes, stirring the whole time.
- If using, add the wine and cook until it has mostly evaporated (about 5 minutes).
- Add bay leaf and thyme. Pour in the reserved clam broth.
- Bring to simmer and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes, then remove lid and cook for another 15 minutes.
- If using, add the coconut milk. Alternatively, you can get a creamy look and texture by removing approximately one cup of cooked celery root and broth and puree it in a high speed blender before returning to the chowder.
- Finally, stir in the chopped clams and about half of the cooked bacon.
- Serve, garnished with the remaining bacon.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: New England