CREAMLESS CAULIFLOWER CLAM CHOWDER WITH BACON AND LEEKS
- Four 6.5 oz cans of chopped or baby clams packed in clam juice (not packed in water)
- 16 oz bottled clam juice
- 1.5 cups chopped leeks
- 1 head cauliflower (about 1.25 lbs), cut into florets
- Four slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into 1/4" pieces
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 2 Tbs fresh minced parsley leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain all but a teaspoon of grease.
- Increase heat to medium and add the leeks. Saute for a couple of minutes or until soft. Remove about 2/3 of the leeks and reserve for later, leaving the remaining third in the pot.
- Stir in the cauliflower, then add the clam juice, juice from the canned clams (but not the clams themselves), water, and thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is quite soft, about 30 minutes. The cauliflower should be soft enough to mash with a fork.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. You can alternately transfer everything to a blender in batches but an immersion blender is much easier!
- Stir in the clams, leeks, bacon, and parsley. Simmer for a couple minutes to let flavors meld. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I like LOTS of pepper but very little salt since the clams, clam juice, and bacon are quite salty). Serve!