Cape Hatteras Clam Chowder

Olive oil cooking spray
3 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery (3 stocks)
3 carrots, sliced
3 medium potatoes pealed and diced
½ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
¼ cup dry white wine – optional
2 cups clam juice
¼ teaspoon salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 cups chopped steamed clams (approximately 4 cans)
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1. Spray a 4 to 6 quart sauce pan or Dutch oven with cooking spray and heat over medium high for 2 to 3 minutes. When pan is hot add garlic and onion and sauté until lightly browned. Add celery and continue to sauté until tender about 5 minutes. Add a little wine or water if vegetables begin to stick or dry out.

2. Add stock, clam juice and wine to pan along with carrots, potatoes, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and saffron. Simmer soup stirring often until until potatoes and carrots are tender.

3. Add clams and continue to simmer an additional 3 to 4 minutes until heated through. Remove from heat stir in olive oil and adjust seasonings if necessary. Soup goes well with hot and crusty sourdough bread if desired.

Yield: 8 1-½ cup servings each at approximately 220 calories; 1.9 grams total fat; 0.2 gram saturated fat; 27 milligrams cholesterol; 36.5 grams carbohydrate; 3.6 grams dietary fiber; 14 grams protein; 506 milligrams sodium.

Compare to traditional at 325 calories and 13.5 grams total fat.

Recipe from the cookbook Lighten Up – The Art of Low Fat Gourmet Cooking, by Mary E. Ross

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