Soup season: mussel and clam chowder-inspired recipe

I've really been into soup lately! I guess it's the black clouds and huge rain drops we get in between patches of sun in Oregon early spring.

I've been getting pretty creative with soups, too. The other day I bought some mussels in the frozen section of our local store--first time, actually, because I've been wanting to eat more seafood and they were a great price. And it's great, because they are not only high in protein, they're also nutrient-dense sources of Omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, zinc, and other minerals.

Husband was not too sure about my idea of a seafood chowder for dinner, but I won him over with this savory, satisfying, slightly creamy soup! (I looked up the definition of "chowder"--they are not always cream-based but they are usually thickened with crackers or flour, so this soup is not technically a chowder! It's gluten-free and grain-free and the thickness comes from the potatoes and coconut milk. So it's also dairy-free and Paleo- or Whole 30-friendly. [White potatoes are largely considered Paleo of late.])

Paleo Mussel & Clam Chowder Recipe


Ingredients:


  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks celery
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1-1.5 lbs red potatoes
  • 2 c. chicken broth (I used homemade)
  • 1/4 c. cooking sherry or dry white wine
  • 1/2 c. full fat coconut milk
  • 3 cans (6.5 oz. each) cooked clams and juice
  • 1 lb. cooked mussels

    Instructions:


    1. In a heavy-bottomed pot (this Dutch oven is perfect)... chop bacon strips into chunks and cook until a good amount of the fat is released. 
    2. Take bacon pieces out and add chopped onion, minced garlic, and chopped celery to the pot. Add some sea salt and basil and thyme. 
    3. Chop potatoes and add to the pan; saute a little so some of the edges get a little brown.
    4. Add broth, cooking, sherry, coconut milk, cans of clams with juice, and mussels. (You can cut the mussels in half to disguise them if you're serving to picky eaters who are used to clam-only chowder!)
    5. Cook on medium-low 20-30 minutes until potatoes are fully cooked.

    Makes 4-6 servings (and each packs a ton of protein!). If my calculations are correct... one fifth of this recipe has a whopping 36.6 grams of protein, plus 24 grams of carbohydrate and 15 grams of fat. What a balanced dish!

    Serve with a fresh green salad with some crunchy red pepper or tomatoes for a perfect rainy spring meal.

    "Chowder-ey"--you know what I mean, right?? ;)

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