Dairy Free Clam Chowder


‘Vegan’ Clam Chowder

I guess I should first explain why vegan is in parentheses in the title of this post.  I love clam chowder but keep my distance from it due to the heavy cream and any other dairy used.  I don’t like foods that sit heavy in my stomach or are really rich.  Being vegetarian for a few years cleansed my body.  I no longer can handle certain foods.  Stomaches are something I thoroughly dislike!  So this being said, I came up with a version of clam chowder that is vegan, except for the clams.  I didn’t put too much thought into it as I’m making a crock pot version (it’s cooking as I type).  It seems it’s pretty hard to fail when using one for soups and stews.  Throw in a little of this, a little of that, cook on low for 7-9 hours, and viola: a delicious smelling home and a very tasty meal!  I can’t wait to come home from work.

Veggies, Seasonings, and Clams

  • Potatoes*, 6-8 medium, peeled and chopped
  • Celery, 1-2 stalks chopped small
  • Carrot, 2 medium carrots chopped small
  • Garlic, minced
  • Onion, chopped small
  • Parsley, minced
  • Corn (frozen), ~1 cup
  • Bay Leaf
  • Thyme (few sprigs)
  • Salt
  • White Pepper
  • Smoked Clams, 1 tin
  • Clams and Juice, 1 can
  • Almond Milk, to fill crock pot ~6 cups
  • Veggie Bouillon, ~2 teaspoons
  • Cornstarch (~6 tablespoons)

* Waxy potatoes work best.  They come in a variety of shapes and can be long or round. They have a thin, smooth skin and an almost waxy flesh.  They are relatively high in moisture and sugar, but low in starch.  They are ideal for soups, casseroles, potato salad, roasting, and barbecuing because of their tendency to hold their shape.  You can mash them, but instead of smooth and creamy, the results tend to be thick and lumpy.  The most common varieties are Round White, Round Red, Red Potato, Salad Potato, Red Bliss, and Fingerling.  I used round white.

1. Prep veggies chopping to desired size.

2. Add veggies to crock pot along with seasonings, clams, and clam liquid.  Dissolve ~6 tablespoons of cornstarch in the milk and add to the crock along with the veggie bouillon.  You can start with less and add more later to find desired consistency.

3. Cook on low 7-9 hours!

Ready to Cook!

I made one small flaw, but it was not fatale!  I used regular almond milk instead of unsweetened.  Not on purpose though, I thought I was using unsweetened.  Original almond milk has a small amount of sugar.  So when I came home from work all excited about my soup I was quite bummed when it had a sweet taste to it.  Luckily the problem was minor..  Here’s what I added:

  • Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • Clam Juice
  • White Pepper
  • Collard Greens (boiled and chopped before added to the soup)

The soup in general needed a bit more s&p so I used the liquid aminos for the salt.  (I try to always under salt so I can work with the flavor once cooked if necessary).  The clam juice I had on hand to add in if I was looking for a stronger clam flavor.  I wasn’t sure how strong the smoked clams would taste.  They offered the perfect amount of smoky flavor without overpowering the soup.  I added in about 1/3 cup of clam juice.  And lastly I added collards to the soup for more nutrition and because we had them and they needed to be eaten.  They matched the flavor of the soup perfectly!!

Ready to Eat!

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