Soothe the winter chill with a piping hot bowl of clam chowder. Usually laden with heavy cream, this alternative recipe dubbed skinny clam chowder by our friend Mireya at Myhealthyeatinghabits.com, is a healthier version of the classic. Plus, you’ll use your slow cooker, which means you’ll be able to enjoy your day while the soup cooks.
2 pounds potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into 1/3- inch cubes—no larger
1 cup celery, cubed to 1/3 inch
1-¼ cup onion, finely chopped
1-½ teaspoon minced garlic
2 slices bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 bay leaf
1/3 teaspoon thyme
¾ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups fat-free ½&½, or low-fat ½&½
½ cup non-fat milk, or water
1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
3 6-½ ounce cans chopped clams
1. Strain the juice from the canned clams into a large pot, and reserve the clams for later.
Add the clam juice, the ½ & ½, the chopped potatoes, and bring to a simmer. Once this comes to a simmer, pour the ingredients into the slowcooker. Set the cooker on high for 4 hours.
2. Cook the bacon in a skillet until it is just crispy, but not burned. Strain and discard the bacon fat, and then set the bacon aside for later.
3. Add the olive oil to the pan along with the celery and onion. Sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onion is shiny and transparent. Add the garlic and sauté 2 more minutes. Next, add ¼ cup flour, cook with the vegetables for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, and then add the vegetables to the slowcooker, along with the bay leaf, thyme, and salt. (Add the salt little by little. Maybe just ½ teaspoon is enough for your tastebuds. You can always add salt, but you can never remove it.)
4. Stir once an hour and add the bacon and the clams in the last ½ hour of cooking.
Let us know in the comment section below about your slow cooker skinny clam chowder. How did it taste?