Thickening soups with rice flour and cornstarch in the roux rather than all-purpose wheat flour is a trick you can transfer to all gluten-free cooking. It’s perfect for this creamy chowder, the prototype for which I developed while catering on Nantucket many years ago.
Makes 6 to 8 servings | Prep time: 20 minutes
Minimum cook time: 3 hours in a medium slow cooker
2 pints fresh minced clams
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons white rice flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 large redskin potatoes, scrubbed and
cut into 3⁄4-inch dice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
1 cup half-and-half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Drain clams, reserving juice.
Refrigerate clams until ready to use.
2. Heat butter in a small skillet over
medium heat. Add onion, and cook,
stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or
until onion is translucent. Reduce the
heat to low, and stir in white rice flour
and cornstarch. Cook for 2 minutes,
stirring constantly. Raise the heat
to medium high, and stir in 1 bottle
clam juice. Bring to a boil, and simmer
for 1 minute.
3. Pour mixture into the slow cooker.
Add remaining bottled clam juice, juice
drained from clams, celery, potatoes,
parsley, thyme, and bay leaf to the
slow cooker, and stir well. Cook on
Low for 5 to 7 hours or on High for
21⁄2 to 3 hours, or until potatoes are
4. If cooking on Low, raise the heat
to High. Stir in clams and half-andhalf.
Cook for an additional 20 to 40
minutes, or until clams are cooked
through and soup is bubbly. Remove
and discard bay leaf, season to taste
with salt and pepper, and serve hot.
The soup can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Reheat it, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Omit the cream and add an
additional bottle of clam juice
for a lean Rhode Island–style
- Substitute 1 pound of firm-fleshed
white fish such as cod or halibut,
cut into 1⁄3-inch dice, for the clams.
Dairy products such as cream and cheese tend to curdle if cooked in a slow cooker for
the entire cooking time. Add
them at the end and let them
cook for no more than 1 hour,
unless otherwise directed in
Cider Mill Press loves slow cookers (especially during our cold Maine winters!), so we've developed a cookbook for every lifestyle! Our eight cookbooks feature everything from Gluten-Free to Paleo to Low-Acid and Low-Carb meals for the slow cooker, with recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and side dishes.