Clam and ham chowder; maybe it’s a good thing I forgot to buy bacon! Even though I had bacon on my grocery list, I still somehow, for the second time, forgot to buy it. Clam chowder had been on my mind for a while, and it had been years since I had made any, and never with lactose-free or dairy-free milk.
I’ve purchased ready-made many times and added salmon and potatoes to “hearty” it up a bit. The brand I bought was called Safe Harvest Dairy Free Clam Chowder.
I decided to try lactose-free milk first because I knew the flavor would be similar to the original, if not exact. I wanted to keep the fat content down, and since I forgot the bacon, lean ham would be even easier. We will also skip the heavy cream in this chowder and stick to 2% lactose-free milk.
For this ham and clam chowder, I used butter for the roux, but any other fat is fine:
- Bacon grease or any animal fat
- Non-dairy butter substitute
To Make Clam And Ham Chowder, You Will Need These Ingredients:
- Lean ham (any leftovers from previous meals or holidays will work)
- Canned clams (I used minced)
- Golden potatoes
- Lactose-free 2% milk or non-dairy
- Butter or a non-dairy substitute ~ oil is fine, but butter will provide more flavor.
- Gluten-free flour ~ regular all-purpose if not gluten-free, I used King Arthur Gluten Free Measure For Measure Flour
- Bottled clam juice
- Bay leaf
- Dried thyme
- Celery salt
- Optional dash of hot sauce
While the chowder is cooking, make some quick homemade dinner rolls. These rolls make great dunkers in the chowder too.
Clam And Ham Chowder
- 1 lb Lean ham ~ diced
- 1 medium Onion ~ chopped
- 2 stalks Celery ~ chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic ~ or 2 tsp minced
- 2 tbsp Butter ~ or non-dairy substitute
- 3 tbsp Gluten-Free flour ~ or regular all-purpose if not gluten-free
- 8 ounce Bottled clam juice
- 4 cups 2% Lactose Free milk ~ or non-dairy
- 1/2 tbsp Cornstarch
- 6 cups Golden potatoes ~ cubed
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp Dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp Celery salt
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 4 7-ounce cans Minced or chopped clams
- 1/2 tsp Salt ~ to taste
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper ~ to taste
- In a large kettle add cubed ham, onions, celery, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes. If needed you can add a tablespoon of oil or butter. I have never needed to.
- Add butter and allow it to melt.
- Stir in flour and let mixture cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the bottled clam juice mixing well.
- In a measuring cup add 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch with some of the milk. Add this mixture and the rest of the milk to the soup. Stir well.
- Add cubed potatoes, bay leaf, and spices. Stir to combine.
- Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn.
- Add clams with their juice. Stir to combine well.
- Cover and let simmer 20 minutes.
- Add additional salt and pepper to taste.