Sunday, November 25, 2012

Coming Around & GF Clam Chowder

Hello to you all! I am so happy to say I am finally beginning to feel back to myself after my surgery last week. To update you all, not to freak anyone out, my husband and I have been seeing a fertility specialist since September of this year. After three years of trying for a little bundle of joy, we were getting pretty frustrated and knew that something was not right. Low and behold, we discovered that my left fallopian tube was blocked. So, Tuesday of last week, the doctor went in and was going to either see if it could be repaired or if it needed to go. Like a clogged pipe, this tube was causing scare tissue and other harmful fluids to back up into my body that were making it very difficult to carry a baby. The doctor ended up clipping the tube, as it was beyond repair. Besides some bloating and pain from the recovery, I am actually feeling much better. My husband and I both feel that this was a positive step in the right direction. 

Before I was discharged from my usual household duties, I was like a squirrel harvesting and storing nuts in the kitchen. I think my parents were shocked at the amount of food I had prepared and stored in the fridge. I had made a plethora of cookies, snacks, and soups knowing that the Bear might get hungry. Being that cooking is very therapeutic to me, this also helped me burn off my nervous energy. One soup in particular that I am excited to share is my Clam Chowder.

Creamy and hearty, this soup is perfect for a chilly day. Loaded with bacon, sauteed veggies, potatoes, and clams my Clam Chowder will satisfy. To save yourself time and an additional ingredient, make sure you buy clams that are canned in their own clam juices. That way, you will not need to drain the clams or purchase a bottle of clam juice. I used Bumble Bee canned clams, which happened to be on sale. If you are looking for a meal that is quick and aims to please over the holiday season, I hope you consider making this soup!

Gluten Free Clam Chowder

4 slices center cut bacon, chopped
1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
2 cans clams, make sure they are clams canned in their clam juices
2 russet potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inche pieces
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons corn starch
Chopped chives and crackers for garnish

Heat a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the bacon begins to crisp. Add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring to break up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot, until the veggies begin to soften (about 4-5 minutes). Add the wine, bay leaf, and clams to the bacon and veggies, stirring to break up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, while the veggies are softening, place the potatoes and chicken broth in a large microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes to cook the potatoes. After the first five minutes, prick one of the potatoes with a fork. If the potato breaks apart or sort of crumbles. If not, microwave for another 5 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Add the potatoes and broth to the bacon and veggie mixture. Add the thyme and cayenne pepper. In another large dish, whisk together the milk, cream, and corn starch until the mixture is smooth are there are no lumps. Add the milk mixture to the pot. Stir constantly until the soup begins to thicken. Garnish with crackers and chopped chives.


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