Clam Chowder, Gluten Free

by Jenn on October 24, 2010

in Gluten Free,Seafood,Soups

Gluten Free Clam Chowder, the Final Shot

Growing up in New England, clam chowder is total comfort food for me. There was this place on the shore that served New England style chowder in sourdough bread bowls… oh sweet heaven. The first time I took my husband to New England to see my old “stomping grounds”, I showed him my favorite things growing up, many of which involved food. What can I say, foods are strongly linked to memories. I had already decided at that point (and so had he) in our dating that we were meant to be. Aww, we were grad students, young and in love….

DSCN01462 DSCN01512

And we still are (well, not grad students anymore thank goodness, but in love yes!).  Last week we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. Two years ago, after the wedding, we decided to spend our honeymoon on the New England seashore, in all of its chilly windy awesomeness, at Cape Cod in Provincetown.  We ate lobster, wine, linguica, squash soups, gelato, and of course, clam chowder.  It was an absolutely perfect week of incredible food, awesome scenery, and total relaxation.

Cape Cod Honeymoon, 2008

Cape Cod Honeymoon, 2008

Cape Cod Honeymoon, 2008

Cape Cod Honeymoon, 2008

Cape Cod Honeymoon, 2008

And so now, whenever I make clam chowder, I think of my childhood, I think of all my memories at the shore, and of course I remember the great times I’ve had with my husband after we professed our love and life-long commitment to each other.

Cape Cod Honeymoon, 2008

Living en Suisse (a land-locked nation), we have been making clam chowder with Italian clams.  This version of chowder is NOT traditional New England clam chowder.  I committed some high sins of New England clam chowder (peas, paprika, etc…), but don’t let that deter you.  Part of our joy of cooking and having tasty meals together is reinventing them, to make our own new memories.  And so I have reinvented this chowder a bit.  It’s still all comfort food.  All satisfying.  Perfect for memories, and perfect for celebrating simple, unfailing love.

Happy Anniversary Honey.

Also submitted to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Gluten Free Wednesday


Adapted from New England Clam Chowder by Kate Ramos on Chow

1 kg clams, cleaned, dead ones discarded
1/4 lb. bacon, diced
2 medium onions, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. AP flour (gluten free if need-be)
1/2 c. white wine
2 c. diced potatoes
1 tbs. herbes de Provence
1 bay leaf
1 tbs. paprika
1 cup. frozen peas
3/4 c. cream
tabasco to taste
parsley for garnish

1. Steam the clams in a large pot with about 2 cups of water, lid on, high heat. Let them cook until they’ve all opened up, around 5 minutes or so. Drain and reserve the clam-broth.
2. Shell the clams, discard any that didn’t open up. Coarsely chop the meat.
3. Render the bacon until crispy in a large pot on med-high heat. Add in the onions, carrot, and garlic and allow to cook for about 10 minutes in the bacon fat until tender. Add in flour and stir, cooking for a couple more minutes.
4. Deglaze with wine. Then add in the potatoes, broth, and herbs and paprika. Bring to a boil and then bring heat down to a simmer and cook covered until potatoes are tender.
5. Add in peas, and continue to cook until soft (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Add in tabasco to taste and garnish with parsley if desired.



torviewtoronto October 24, 2010 at 8:33 pm

lovely pictures

Jenn October 24, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Thank you!

Heather October 24, 2010 at 9:50 pm

What a beautiful way to tie your old and new precious memories together. Happy anniversary!

Jenn October 24, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Aww thank you!

Gra\ October 24, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Your photos are beautiful and the recipe looks wonderful! Thank you

Jenn October 24, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Thanks so much!

Rosa October 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I’ve never eaten clams! That chowder sure looks very tempting and New England is a place I would not mind visiting!



Jenn October 24, 2010 at 11:41 pm

I think you would enjoy New England very much – it’s prettiest in the Fall for sure :) I love most all shellfish, and clams are perfect for a thick chowder…

amelia October 25, 2010 at 5:18 am

aww, i LOVE Provincetown & clam chowder. would die for some of that chilly weather here in LA. still so sunny!!

Jenn October 25, 2010 at 7:29 am

It’s chilly here en Suisse as well right now… loving it! :)

Julia October 25, 2010 at 6:44 am

Jenn, I’m so glad I found your blog! I’m digging through your recipes :-)

Jenn October 25, 2010 at 7:30 am

Aww thanks!!

InTolerantChef October 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm

This is what cooking is all about, making each recipe your own. I hope you look back on this recipe in 20 years, and make it again adding a new twist this time and remembering your honeymoon all over again.

Jenn October 25, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Thanks so much! I will love to see how this recipe changes over time as we keep making it!

CinnamonQuill/ October 26, 2010 at 2:58 am

Oooo, I love your personal take on clam chowder…and the photos are really pretty, as usual :)

Jenn October 26, 2010 at 8:08 am


Linda October 27, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I enjoyed the pictures, especially the light house and the ones of the two of you. Your clam chowder looks delicious.

Jenn October 27, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Thanks Linda!

Heather October 27, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I LOVE clam chowder and haven’t made it so long. You have inspired me once again. Its a simple substitution with a gf flour. Of course, living in Houston, I am still experiencing 90 degree days (ugh!) so I guess I will have to wait until colder weather… (is that when hell freezes over? ha ha)…. anyway thanks for the lovely story and photographs, too.

Jenn October 27, 2010 at 7:00 pm

90?? wow I guess you aren’t ready for hot chowders yet! well, if it ever does cool down, I hope you enjoy it :)

Dee D. October 30, 2010 at 1:40 am

wow your chowder looks really great and creamy! awesome pictures :)

Jenn October 30, 2010 at 10:35 am

Thanks so much!!

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