Ok I fully admit that I am a wimp when it comes to cooler weather. I am the one person who always has a fleece or sweater with me most of the time as I seem to really feel the cold. Maybe that is a female thing as my husband does not seem to suffer. I have blankets all over the house so that I can cover up instead of turning on the heat way before anyone else would. It seems appropriate to be typing up this post while it is raining out, and I am under a blanket and have just turned the heat on.
When the weather starts to change, I tend to craving warming foods like soups, chili and casseroles. One of my favourite soups that I make sure I have plenty of when I am home is Clam Chowder. I love it sprinkled with little oyster crackers.
The soup is incredibly easy to make and is gluten free and quite light. This is a lightened up version from the usual cream laden recipes that are out there. Don’t worry, it loses none of the goodness for being lightened up.
First you dry fry the bacon pieces, then you add in 1 large onion that has been finely chopped and cook until translucent. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon of cornflour/cornstarch to help the soup ultimately thicken up. Next add the clam juice, potatoes, and herbs and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Note: if you cannot find clam juice simply soak the clams in 2 cups of water, and then strain the water off to be used in place of the clam juice.
Add the milk, clams, and a little knob of butter and heat on low for 15-20 minutes. Serve in preheated bowls.
I had mine with some artisan gluten free bread from the market. The soup was thick and hearty and reminded me of being in Boston in the winter, tucked up in a pub with this lovely bowl of chowder. I am sure it has medicinal properties as well. The milk and little bit of butter make this chowder taste rich without being heavy or fattening. Believe me, you will not miss the cream, however if you want an extra rich soup by all means substitute some of the milk for cream, or just put a drizzle into the soup at the end.
Now on to the health and safety bit. This recipe made enough for 4 people, so we had leftovers for the next day. I looked into whether this was safe or not, and you can reheat clam chowder if it has been stored properly. After cooking, I allowed the soup to cool for 20 minutes and then put it into a airtight plastic storage container and put it straight into the refrigerator. The next day we heated the chowder up on the stove and ate it for lunch with no problems.