I guess with the arrival of winter, I got a crazy idea while I was at the store that I wanted some clam chowder. When I lived in CA, I used to love the clam chowder they served at Hobbies restaurants, but that became a no-no when I had to watch my carb intake. I found the recipe along with one for low-carb clam chowder and put them together into this one. (Unfortunately, it's got a texture closer to chicken soup than traditional cream-based clam chowder, but it still tastes fantastic.)
I will warn you, however, that this is anything but low sodium.
I also suspect it would taste good with potatoes in it...but since it's low carb, I've never tried it.
So here goes:
Low carb New England clam chowder (3-4 servings)
3 tbsp. butter
5 pieces of bacon, diced
1 med. onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. white pepper
2 cups chopped celery
1 bay leaf
2 - 6 oz. cans chopped clams
2 cups low sodium chicken broth or seafood stock (or you can use the liquid from the clams, but be aware it usually has boatloads of salt - just be sure to drain the clams if you're using the broth)
2 tbsp. fresh minced parsley
2 cups half and half (or heavy cream, if you really want to cut out the carbs)
Cook bacon in butter in a 3 qt. saucepan. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent. Add celery, thyme, oregano, basil, and white pepper. Cook until celery is softened...up to 45 min. (I usually add small amounts of plain water frequently at the step so that things don't stick to the pan and start to burn. It also seems to speed up the celery cooking.) Add clams, broth, bay leaf, and parsley, and simmer for 15 minutes. Lower heat and add cream while stirring. Continue to stir and heat to desired temperature but do not boil.