Paleo New England Fish Chowder
Why This Recipe Works
New England–style fish chowders are often loaded with heavy cream and potatoes. We wanted a paleo version that wouldn’t weigh us down while still having the characteristic thick and creamy texture of the original. After testing a couple of different ways to thicken our soup, we found that pureeing cooked cauliflower into our base re-created the velvety consistency of dairy-based versions. We started by rendering a few strips of bacon in our pot and saving the crispy bacon bits for serving. To create a flavorful and creamy cooking medium for our fish, we sautéed a bit of onion and thyme before stirring in our cauliflower. Cooking the florets in clam juice reinforced the seafood flavor of the soup and allowed us to scrape up the flavorful browned bits on the bottom of the pot. We simmered the mixture until the cauliflower began to break down, transferred it to a blender, and pureed the base until it had the smooth consistency of a creamy soup. On returning the base to the pot, we added pieces of celery root, which were the perfect paleo stand-in for classic potatoes. When the celery root was tender, we added large chunks of cod fillets, reduced the heat to medium-low, covered the pot, and allowed the fish to gently cook through. Before serving, we stirred fresh parsley and lemon juice into the soup for brightness. Sprinkling crisp bacon over each serving provided a savory finishing touch.