The magic is in cashews. If you’ve eschewed dairy and wheat for a healthier and happier tomorrow, you may miss comfort foods classics like New England clam chowder. Milk, cream, and flour — even if organic — aren’t paleo. And a dairy alternative like coconut milk might taste more like the tropics than a cold New England shoreline.
But cashews. Blended up, cashews taste creamy and rich. They give your chowder the kind of body that mimics a flour roux and a double cream finish.
If you meal plan, arrange to make the broth for New England clam chowder with a leftover slow cooker roast chicken.
New England Clam Chowder
- 5.0 stars
- 2 1/2 c raw cashews
- 16 oz frozen clam meat
- 5 slices bacon
- 1 onion
- 4 carrots
- 3 celery ribs
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 c chicken stock, or fish stock
- 5 c filtered water
- ground black pepper, to taste
- fish sauce, to taste
- Soak cashews in a bowl of filtered water for a few hours before you plan to use them.
- If you’re using frozen clams, skip to step 7.
- Rinse and scrub clams.
- Add clams to a large stock pot or wok. Cover with filtered water. Bring to a boil. Steam until clams just barely open, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Using tongs or slotted spoon, transfer clams to large bowl until they are cool enough to handle.
- Remove clams from shells by opening clams with a paring knife while holding over a bowl to catch juices. Sever the muscle from under the clam and remove it from the shell. Add the clams to the bowl with the clam juice. Discard the shells.
- Coarsely chop clams.
- Cook 5 slices of bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes on each side over medium heat. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
- Finely chop the onion, carrots, and celery ribs.
- Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onions, celery, and half the salt. Sauté for 7 minutes, stirring often. Then add carrots and thyme, and sauté for 5 more minutes.
- When the veggies are tender, add in the clams and a few tablespoons of their juice. Stir clams around with the veggies. Then add in the rest of the salt, garlic powder, and stock. Boil, then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, drain the cashews, rinse well, and add them to a blender or food processor with filtered water. Blend on high for 30 seconds.
- Add the blended cashews to the pot with the soup. Stir and allow everything to come to a light simmer (not a boil) again. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn the soup down to very low and cover to allow soup to thicken for 30 minutes.
- Add pepper and fish sauce to taste, garnish with crumbled bacon, and serve hot.