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Healthy Clam Chowder with All the Alliums (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)

This healthy clam chowder is based on one of the all-time best chowders from MV Chowder Company on Martha’s Vineyard. What makes their version so good is that it’s packed with vegetables. I modified this version to make it dairy-free in addition to gluten-free. The easiest way to use the juice from the canned clams is to open the cans halfway and allow the juices to stream directly into the pot.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Author Phoebe Lapine


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 fennel bulb finely diced
  • 1 leek finely sliced
  • 1 large shallot finely diced
  • 1 small yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks finely diced
  • 1 pound russet potato peeled and cut into small cubes (approx. 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • One 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 8 ounces clam juice
  • Two 6.5 oz cans clams drained, juice reserved
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme or 4 sprigs fresh
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives thinly sliced


  1. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the oil or butter over medium heat. Add the fennel, leek, shallot, onion and celery to the pan. Sauté until the vegetables are very soft, but not beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Fold in the potatoes and sprinkle with arrowroot starch. Cook 2 minutes more.
  2. Pour in the coconut milk, white wine, and clam juice (both bottle and canned). Season with 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper and the thyme. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally, or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. With a stand or immersion blender, puree 2 cups of soup (or roughly 1/4 of the pot) until smooth. Reincorporate into the rest of the soup—it will immediately thicken. Fold in the reserved clams and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes more.
  4. Ladle the clam chowder into bowls and garnish with the chives and more fresh black pepper.