Articles & Recipes

Zesty Seafood Chowder (gluten-free)

October 12, 2018

'This robust chowder is a lip-smacking meal-in-a-bowl, perfect for chilly fall days. I love the hint of smokiness balanced by the heat of the jalapeño.' ~Judith Finlayson

Ingredients Makes 6 servings

4 oz smoked bacon, diced 125 g
2 leeks, white part with just a hint of green, cleaned and thinly sliced 2
2 stalks celery, diced 2
2 cloves garlic, minced 2
1 tsp Cajun seasoning (see Tips) 5 mL
1 tsp dried thyme 5 mL
1⁄2 tsp sea salt 2 mL
1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 mL
1 cup dry white wine 250 mL
2 cups fish stock 500 mL
2 potatoes, peeled and shredded (see Tips) 2
3 lbs small clams, cleaned (see Tips) 1.5 kg
1 lb firm white fish fillets, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes 500 g
1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced 1 to 2
Paleo Mayo
Finely chopped parsley leaves


  • Medium to large (31⁄2 to 5 quart) slow cooker
  1. In a skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain well on paper towel, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add leeks and celery to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, Cajun seasoning, thyme, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine, bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Stir in fish stock and potatoes. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until potatoes are dissolving into the broth.
  4. Discard any clams that are open. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 1 cup (250 mL) water to a rapid boil. Add clams, cover and cook, shaking the pot, until all the clams open. Discard any that do not open. Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a bowl. Using a fork, remove clam meat from shells.
  5. Add clam cooking liquid and meat to slow cooker, along with fish fillets, reserved bacon, corn and jalapeño to taste. Cover and cook on High for 10 minutes, until fish is cooked through and flavors meld. To serve, spoon about 1 tbsp (15 mL) Paleo Mayo into the bottom of each warmed bowl. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with parsley.
If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (2 to 31⁄2 quart) slow cooker. Some brands of Cajun seasoning contain gluten. Check the label. The potato in this recipe has been used to add flavor and, more importantly, to replace cream, which is traditionally used to thicken chowder. If you are concerned about eating this starchy vegetable, the fat in the mayo and the bacon mitigate the glycemic response. However, if you cannot consume potatoes for other dietary reasons, omit it. The soup will be tasty but will lack a creamy consistency. To clean clams, scrub thoroughly with a wire brush and soak in several changes of cold salted water.


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