You will not miss the dairy in this soup at all. It’s thick, rich, and creamy. If possible, I would highly recommend using the Ripple non-dairy half & half (original flavor)*. It really makes the difference. If you do not want to use xanthan gum, then just use a little more corn starch. If you can’t use the Ripple non-dairy half & half, then use the diary free milk substitute of your choice and add another ½ tsp of xanthan gum or 1 tbsp more of cornstarch. The xanthan gum really helps recreate the creaminess of milk.
- 3 slices of cooked bacon, cut into pieces or crumbled
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2¼ cups clam juice (reserved juice and bottled clam juice until you reach the total amount needed)
- 1 tsp of dried thyme or 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2½ cups of chicken stock
- ½-1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 lb diced potatoes (diced hash browns are a great short cut)**
- 3 cups of Ripple Half & Half original flavor
- 1 ½ tsp cornstarch
- 6 cans of minced/chopped clams drained (reserve juice)
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Heat olive oil in large pot.
- Cut bacon into small pieces and cook in oil until crispy.
- Add chopped onion. Cook until tender and translucent (about 5 minutes).
- Add clam juice, chicken stock, thyme, and bay leaf.
- Add hash browns and clams.
- Bring to a boil then stir in xanthan gum.
- Simmer until it starts to thicken.
- Combine cornstarch with chilled Ripple Half & Half.
- Stir in Ripple Half & Half/cornstarch mixture, dry sherry, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Bring to a slight boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
*Do NOT use the vanilla flavored Ripple Half & Half.
**I like using the diced hash browns. It cuts down on a lot of prep time. However, if you really want to use fresh potatoes, go for it. Peel (or not…it’s your choice), dice, and partially cook your potatoes by boiling them. Drain them and add to the chowder instead of the hash browns.
I do not receive any compensation from Ripple or any other company. I mention specific brands because they are the ones that I use and I find that they give me the best results or I prefer their taste and/or texture.
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