I enjoy chowders during the cold months. The only problem is that most chowders have flour and potatoes which are not allowed on a low-carb diet. If you have not tried it, you may not believe that cauliflower is an excellent substitution for the potatoes in this chowder.
I use cauliflower quite a lot these days. I never had it until I was an adult. Even then, it was always raw and on vegetable (or curdité) platters. It wasn’t until several years ago that I discovered what a versatile vegetable it actually is. It’s a great rice substitute, potato substitute, and I even have a recipe for paleo grits made with cauliflower on my blog.
For this recipe, I substituted cauliflower for the potatoes. I needed some extra thickness to the chowder so once I cooked the cauliflower I used my immersion blender to puree it, leaving a few bite-size chunks. It was incredible and my family never even noticed that it was cauliflower!
If you are not interested in a low-carb New-England Clam Chowder, visit www.notjustsundaydinner.com for a full carb version.
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 4 (6.5-oz.) cans minced clams, juices reserved
- 2 to 3 c. bottled clam juice
- 2 thick-cut bacon slices, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 celery rib, diced fine
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 c. heavy cream
- 8-oz. cream cheese
- 6 tbsp. dry sherry
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- hot sauce, optional, to taste
- ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- Drain the clam juice from the minced clams and combine with enough bottled juice to equal 3 cups of liquid.
- Clean cauliflower and core. Place in a Dutch oven with a small amount of water. Cover and cook until tender. Remove from heat and drain well, and blend with an immersion blender, leaving a few bite-size pieces.
- Cook the bacon over medium heat in the Dutch oven until lightly crisp.
- Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, and stirring cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Whisk in 2 cups clam juice, 2 c. of heavy cream, the prepared cauliflower, and cream cheese. Bring to a simmer, whisking until the cream cheese is completely melted.
- Add the bay leaf, thyme, and simmer about 15 minutes.
- Add the clams, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and sherry. If too thick add additional clam juice. Simmer until warmed through.
- Serve warm.