People typically see chowder as a creamy thick fish soup particularly clam chowder in most places or with tomato as “Manhattan clam chowder.” The word “chowder” is a New England word that came from Newfoundland, where Breton fishermen — who would throw portions of the day’s catch and other available foods into a large pot — introduced the word, and perhaps the fish soup itself. Another possible origin for the word chowder is derived from the Old English “jowter”, which means fishmonger (one who peddles fish). I’d love to claim to have known all of that but I have to give props to wikipedia for their insightfulness.
What I do know is chowder is usually made from a roux but in this case I substituted the butter for oil.
Canola oil is low in saturated fat but is high in monounsaturated fat — a good thing! Monounsaturated fats benefit heart health. I’m not a fan of cream and/or butter in my cooking and to be honest I don’t eat them either but I do love chowder so this is my version of a healthy, no cream or butter version.
4 tbsp. canola oil
1/3 cup white flour
4 cups fat-free (skim) milk
1/2 cup white onion – small dice
1 cup carrot – small diced
1 cup clam juice
1 1/2 cups cooked lobster meat – cut into bite size pieces
2 cups white potatoes – medium dice
1 x 15 1/4 can corn kernels
2 tbsp. chives – chopped
2 bay leaves
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
S&P to taste
Since lobster can be pricey you could use mussels or clams if preferred. Or you can keep it as a corn and potato chowder.
A very good friend of mine back home saw I put clam juice in another recipe of mine and said something to the effect of ‘Clam juice, WTF? Where am I going to get that ’round here?’
You know who you are, a cara, but simply put use your head. Get some clams. Steam them in some white wine and herbs and voila you’ve got yourself some, what? CLAM JUICE. Brilliant.
Anyway continuing on…
Preheat a large soup pot on medium heat. Add canola oil and saute onions for 2-3 mins stirring occasionally. Do not brown. You want the onions to be soft and translucent. Once softened add diced carrots and continue cooking for another 2 mins still stirring and not browning. If the onion-carrot mixture begins to brown remove pot from the heat until temperature has dropped.
Add flour to onion carrot mixture and stir constantly on the heat until the flour begins to cook and is absorbed by the oil. Continue cooking for 2 mins. stirring constantly.
Add clam juice, milk and bay leaf and increase temperature to high so as to thicken the soup. With a whisk keep stirring soup as it thickens and make sure it doesn’t stick to bottom of pan.
Once boiling reduce heat to medium low. Add diced potatoes and corn and continue cooking for additional 20 mins.
At this stage you’re cooking the soup to get rid of any raw flour taste.
Just before serving add chopped chives and lobster.
Taste and season with salt and pepper to your personal preference.
If the soup is too thick add enough chicken broth to improve the consistency.
All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.