Like a lot of people, I re-committed myself* to eating healthier and losing a few pounds in the New Year. Unlike a lot of people, I won’t attempt to live off of cold salads and clear broths. It’s winter, people! I want comfort food – and lots of it.

This milky chowder filled with meaty bites of bacon and the subtle spice of Old Bay and peppery parsnips is what I consider the ultimate winter meal. The combination of smoke and cream reminds me of curling up in front of a fireplace while fat snowflakes fall outside. Close your eyes when you eat it and you can almost hear the bells of a horse-drawn carriage being pulled down the road. It tastes luxurious but, with less than 350 calories per (big) bowl and loads of vitamins C and A, I know its a great way to stick to my goals.

(*I refuse to say it’s a resolution. That sounds too drastic and unattainable. I do, however, resolve to fit into my pants again.)

Yields 4

New England Clam Chowder

I prefer my chowder milky and light, not thick, so I make it with equal parts vegetable stock and half and half. If you prefer a thicker soup, omit the stock and add more cream. If you prefer a creamless chowder, you'll love my Manhattan Clam Chowder.

10 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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  • 1/4 pound Applewood Smoked Bacon, diced
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 2 Parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 1 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Stock or Water
  • 2 cans (6.5 ounces) Chopped Clams
  • 1 cup Fat Free Half and Half
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Salt, Pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning to taste
  • Oyster Crackers, for serving


  1. Add the bacon to a heavy-bottomed soup pan set over medium heat. Once the bacon is browned and crisp, add the shallot, parsnips and carrots. Cook 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the stock, the liquid from canned clams and the potatoes. Simmer over medium-high heat for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the clams and half and half. Cook until heated through. Stir in parsley and season to taste. Serve with oyster crackers.