Light Clam Chowder

Light Clam Chowder

Light Clam Chowder

I forget how much I enjoy a creamy clam chowder and especially at this time of year when the temperatures dip below freezing.  But I won’t ever order it when dining out because, although very tasty, traditional clam chowder prepared at a restaurant is over-the-top calorie heavy due to the amount of cream and butter typically used.  So I’ve lightened up the original and produced a wonderfully light and flavorful soup that still has plenty of creaminess.  It’s a little trick I’ve used in other “cream-based” recipes like my Chicken Corn Chowder or Simple Chicken Zucchini Alfredo.  I use fat-free half and half with low-fat milk in place of the cream and along with cooked diced potatoes, a thick creamy soup is the result.

Light Clam Chowder

I love the carrots, celery and onion combination; it makes my house smell so delightful as they saute in a little butter before I add the broth and potatoes which are allowed to simmer for a while to soften everything up.  Then I add a flour/broth mix to thicken things up a little more before finishing off with the magic ingredients:  fat-free half and half and low-fat milk.  Clams need to be added at the end of the cooking time as extra boiling makes them tough and chewy.  Season with fresh thyme and paprika and serve with some crusty rustic bread for a perfect winter’s night meal.

Light Clam Chowder

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

  • Light Clam Chowder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 (6.5 oz) cans baby clams, juice reserved
  • 1 (8 oz) bottle clam juice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (I use Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free half & half
  • 1 cup low-fat 1% milk
  • Fresh thyme leaves and paprika
  1. Melt butter in a large stockpot placed over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery and onion; cook until vegetables are soft and onions are translucent. Add reserved juice, clam juice and vegetable broth, stirring to combine. Add potatoes, thyme, bay leaves and black pepper; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  2. Remove 1/2 cup fluid from the soup pot and combine with the flour in a small bowl. Whisk together and stir into the soup. Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in the fat-free half and half, milk and clams. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves and paprika.
http://insidekarenskitchen.com/light-clam-chowder/

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