CHOWDAH (New England Clam Chowder) from Paleo Soups and Stews

One of Matt’s most favorite meals – of all time – is linguine with clams. We recreated the recipe years ago with spaghetti squash and have also used other substitute noodles. But this week, when I was preparing the meal plan and he asked to put Linquine with Clams on the menu I sighed. “I’m Souping,” I said. What about if we make Clam Chowder? “We can do that?!” the Massachusetts-born boy exclaimed. Sure, it’s in Simone’s Paleo Soups and Stews book – let’s put it on the meal plan! A

And so it started. Finally an alternative to the man’s comfort food – one that includes more vegetables than a gluten-free pasta version and more nutrients from the broth-base. Not to mention, clams pack a HUGE nutrient punch. Did you know that only 20 small clams contain:

Vitamin A 21% Vitamin C 70%
Calcium 17% Iron 294%
Vitamin B-12 3131% Vitamin B-6 10%

We were SO excited about this recipe that we asked it’s genius creator, Simone of Zenbelly, to share it – and she was incredibly generous and said yes! So, if you too are Souping you can add this to your menu for a delicious and flavorful nutrient-rich meal that will add variety to the steady rotation you may be experience now that we’re in week 2.

Hey hey, Happy New Year! Simone from Zenbelly here, crashing The Real Everything Blog with a recipe from my book, Paleo Soups & Stews. Since they’re all about souping this month, Stacy kindly invited me on over to share a recipe from my book for you all, and I’m thrilled to be sharing this one for New England Clam Chowder. (Or chow-dah if we’re being authentic about it.)

Speaking of authenticity, it’s kind of my jam when it comes to creating recipes; I love adapting classics to be gluten-free and more Paleo-friendly while being as true to the original as possible as far as flavor goes. I’m more of a Paleo-template person than a strict-by-the-book Paleo person, so my recipes sometimes include not quite Paleo ingredients such as heavy cream, but also include alternatives for those who may follow more of a squeaky-clean Paleo approach (or are AIP or lower-carb). You’ll see that reflected here. Make sure to see the notes below the recipe for subs if there are ingredients in the list that you don’t tolerate or prefer.

The recipe for the AIP-friendly Oyster Crackers in the photo can be found in Paleo Soups & Stews.  

Thanks so much, Stacy and family for having me over to visit!

New England Clam Chowder (Chowdah!)


  • 3 pounds cherrystone, quahog, or littleneck clams, well rinsed
  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into small dice
  • 1 medium leek, white part only, cleaned and sliced into quarter moons
  • 1 cup diced shallots (about 2 large)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (about 2 ribs)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup heavy cream, full fat coconut milk, or cashew cream
  • 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 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the potatoes and thyme and cook for another 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.
  6. 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 at least 20 minutes and up to an hour to allow it to cure, and the flavors to develop.
  7. To serve, reheat the soup and stir in the parsley. Garnish with additional minced parsley and the remaining bacon.


Chef’s Tip: Rather not use wine? Swap the white wine for equal parts white wine vinegar and water.

AIP Modification: Use celery root, parsnips, or turnips instead of potatoes, and use coconut milk instead of heavy cream or cashew cream.

Lower-Carb Modification: Use celery root instead of potatoes.

This, plus other fantastic recipes can be found in Paleo Soups and Stews!


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