New England Clam Chowder

I’m sorry, did you see this? It’s freakin’ New England Clam Chowder. CLAM CHOWDER! Gah! When ever I say the words “Clam Chowder”, two things happen: 1. I have to immediately quote Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and say, “Password?”, “New England Clam Chowder”, “Is that the red or the white?”, “Damn I can never remember that!” and then 2. I immediately start thinking of thick creamy soup inside of a warm soft bread bowl. Yes, I said the “B” word. Don’t worry though because you are about to be so happy that you took time out of your day to read this blog post. Mostly for the Ace Ventura memories, but mainly because I’m giving you this New England Clam Chowder recipe AND telling you where you can get a Paleo Bread Bowl recipe to go with it. Go ahead, love me. Actually, you should probably just pass Go, do not collect $200, and go straight to loving my girl Simone Miller of Zenbelly! This recipe is from her AMAZING new book, Paleo Soups & Stews: Over 100 Delectable Recipes for Every Season, Course, and Occasion. Is your mouth already watering? Mine is.

So I actually first met Simone from Zenbelly last September when I was on book tour with Juli from PaleOMG. Simone came out to our San Francisco signing with Diane Sanfilippo (Balanced Bites/Practical Paleo). We all got together to eat tacos before the signing at Mamacita in San Francisco. I sat next to Simone and we had great conversation about how much tacos rule, how much booze rules, and I asked her all kinds of questions about her really cool catering business. She runs Zenbelly, a completely Paleo and Gluten-Free catering company in San Francisco! How cool is that?!

Paleo Soups & Stews


Anyway I’m fascinated by Simone. All of her recipes are so grown up. Like she is the Anthony Bourdain to my Pioneer Woman. She’s like a real gourmet chef and stuff who knows how to play on the flavors in her food. I’m just over hear adding a whole bunch of butter to stuff. Simone makes amazing bread recipes too out of gluten-free and paleo ingredients. In fact there are a TON in her new book Paleo Soups & Stews. One in particular that I’ve really got my eye (mouth) on is her Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuit Recipe! I want to get Jal-up-en it’s business! They remind me of the Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster. (Insert heart eye emoji here). Simone, if you’re reading this, PLEASE make a Cheddar Bay Biscuit recipe! The people have spoken.

So besides this New England Clam Chowder (Ace Ventura voice) and the Bread Bowl recipe that you NEED to make to go with it, check out what else you can find in Simone’s new book Paleo Soups & Stews: everything from refreshing cold soups like gazpacho and summer borscht to savory pureed soups like Moroccan carrot and wild mushroom bisque to hearty options like matzo ball soup and pork chile verde. It even includes dessert soups and cookies to pair them with, like roasted plum soup with cinnamon roll cookies and chocolate soup with graham cracker marshmallow dippers. Yes, do not adjust your screen, you read that right. CHOCOLATE SOUP! Confession time, sometimes I melt chocolate chips in a bowl and eat it like soup. Don’t judge. And don’t be like this Vanessa (Directv commercial voice), get Simone’s book and make the real deal…

You guys I really, really like this book. I think it’s got a ton of recipes that you’ll want to get into your weekly line up as well as recipes that you’ll want to have on hand for Holidays and special occasions. I’m always excited to see Simone’s new recipes when she posts them on Social Media. She has this Everything Dough on her website that you can use for ANYTHING, from Cinnamon Rolls to Burger Buns! Her breads excite me. I’m dying to make some Cinnamon Rolls from Simone’s Everything Dough topped with an Orange Icing Glaze like those bastard Pillsbury ones that you buy in the pop-cans. This blog post is starting to go down a strange and dark path…So I’ll just leave you here with this recipe for New England Clam Chowder and an astounding Two Whisks Up review from me for Simone’s new book!

New England Clam Chowder
Serves 4
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
  1. 3 pounds cherrystone, quahog, or littleneck clams, well rinsed
  2. 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into small dice
  3. 1 medium leek, white part only, cleaned and sliced into quarter-moons (about 1 cup) (see Tip on page 38)
  4. 1 cup diced shallots (about
  5. 2 large)
  6. ½ cup diced celery (about
  7. 2 ribs)
  8. Pinch of salt
  9. 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
  10. ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  11. ½ cup white wine
  12. 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  13. 1 bay leaf
  14. 1 cup heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk
  15. 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
  1. In a large pot, bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Add the clams, cover, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the clams open. Discard any clams that do not open. Transfer the clams to a rimmed baking sheet and set aside to cool. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth to catch any sediment. Reserve the broth.
  2. Once the clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells and chop them into small pieces. Set aside.
  3. Rinse out the pot and return it to the stovetop over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about
  4. 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot.
  5. Add the leek, shallots, and celery to the pot along with a pinch of salt and cook until softened, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Add the potatoes and thyme and cook for another
  7. 3 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and add the wine. Cook for another couple of minutes, until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Add the arrowroot starch and cook for 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
  8. Pour in the reserved clam broth and add the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the clams, cream, and half of the bacon and bring just to a simmer. Set aside at room temperature for up to an hour to allow the flavors to develop.
  9. To serve, reheat the soup and stir in the parsley. Garnish with additional minced parsley and the remaining bacon.
  1. Chef’s Tip: Rather not use wine? Swap the white wine for equal parts white wine vinegar and water.
  2. AIP Modification: Use celery root, parsnips, or turnips instead of potatoes, and use coconut milk instead of heavy cream.
  3. Lower-Carb Modification: Use celery root instead of potatoes.
Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind

4 Comments on New England Clam Chowder

  1. Ramona Nuss
    February 11, 2017 at 3:38 pm (7 years ago)

    What an answer to prayer you have been! I am gluten/dairy/bean, etc. intolerant and have been missing and craving clam chowder for YEARS.I found your site. Just made it. This is THE BEST clam chowder ever! I don’t think even The Ritz Carlton could make it this good. So rich and satisfying. I took a picture of the soup and have been sending it to my friends and family. Just sent it to my nutritionist. So glad I found your site!! I can’t wait to try your other recipes. (By the way, I live I live in Bonita).

    • Vanessa Barajas
      February 16, 2017 at 8:07 am (7 years ago)

      Hey Ramona! This recipe is actually from Simone of Zenbelly’s new cookbook, Paleo Soups and Stews! Her recipes are so awesome and I’ll have to let her know how much you enjoyed it! I can’t wait for you to try some other recipes from my site too! Oh yay, another San Diegan, always exciting! 😉 Thanks for reading.

  2. Gwen
    April 17, 2017 at 9:42 am (6 years ago)

    As a Mainer I can’t wait to try this…it’s been way too long since I had clam chowdah!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      April 17, 2017 at 12:03 pm (6 years ago)

      I bet you clam chowder in Maine is to die for! It’s on my food bucket list for sure, haha! There’s nothing like a good bowl of chowdah! Enjoy!


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