Manhattan Style Clam Chowder

Olive oil cooking spray
3 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup chopped celery (2 stocks)
2 carrots diced,
2 medium potatoes pealed and diced
1 28-oz can Italian Style chopped tomatoes
½ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
pinch cayenne pepper
½ cup dry white wine
3 cups clam juice
¼ teaspoon salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cups shucked and chopped steamed clams
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)

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 sauté until lightly browned. Add onions, bell peppers, celery and continue to sauté until tender about 5 minutes. Add a little wine or water if vegetables begin to stick or dry out.

Stir in carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, pepper, white wine and clam juice and simmer for 30 minutes until potatoes and carrots are tender.

Add clams and continue to simmer an additional three minutes until heated through. Remove from heat stir in olive oil and adjust seasonings if necessary remove from heat and serve hot with crusty French or Italian bread.

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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