If you’ve enjoyed my cauliflower alternatives to filling and not-so-healthy meals… well, dangit Gina, you’re going to LOVE this one. Not only is it delicious and lactose-intolerant-friendly, it’s EASY. Really, this is getting repetitive at this point… it’s ALWAYS easy!
I actually impressed myself with this one, and it took me less than 3 days to finish all of it. Which was about 6-8 servings. I kid you not, I had two full bowls of this as soon as I finished cooking it, I couldn’t stay away!
It has the saltiness and sea taste with the clams, the warmth and heartiness from the leeks and bacon, and it sure as heck has the thick ‘creaminess’ you would look for without the heavy cream and dairy. Superfood cauliflower does it again!!!
Let’s just get to it, because now that its getting a little cooler over here, this is the perfect kind of soup to make over the weekend to warm you up while you cozy yourself on the couch to binge watch a new television show.
- 8 strips of thick-cut bacon (I used bacon that was lower-sodium, or something healthier… you could even use turkey bacon if you want to be really good about it)
- 1 medium leek sliced into thin pieces maximum 2in. in length
- 1 medium-large head of cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 large carrot cut into circular slice (or half circles, if it’s too big)
- 2 10oz. cans of baby clams
- 1 8oz. bottle of clam juice
- 3/4c. vegetable stock
- salt & pepper to taste
- any herbs you like – I used some dried thyme
First things to do – cut up your bacon and add it to your pot, start sautéing on medium heat. Next, add your cauliflower to some water and cook those babies in boiling/simmering water until super soft.
Once the cauliflower is on its way, and the bacon is nice and crispy and cooked through, add your leeks to the pot. Saute in the bacon and its grease on medium-low heat until opaque and cooked down, about 10-15min.
After that is all cooked down, add your carrots and veggie broth to the bacon and leeks (I like my carrots kind of crunchy, so if you like them mushy, I would add them earlier, when you add the leeks). Now, the cauliflower should be ready. At this point, you can drain it in a colander, then add to your food processor. I added about half of the clam juice from the bottle, and blend it on high until super frothy, about 3-4 minute (same as we did with the Caulifredo sauce). To be honest, I like a more chunky soup, so I didn’t puree it as much as I should have to make it creamy. I still had a few chunky cauliflower pieces in mine. This is up to you! If you want to make it as similar to the creamy New England style chowder, process it on high until frothy, it will look just as creamy!
Once that is all whipped up, add the cauliflower cream, the rest of the clam juice, and all of the baby clams and their juice to your pot. Season with salt, pepper and herbs. Keep the heat on medium-low, and let simmer for a bit. I let it simmer for about a half an hour. Really, once everything is heated up, it’s pretty much good to go, but I like to let the flavors get comfy and melt together over the heat for a bit.
Well, believe it or not, that is IT. This soup is THAT easy, and let me tell you, its so so so good. This will most definitely become a staple when I’m craving a thick, hearty soup.