As most of you know, my approach for eating gluten free is to seek out naturally gluten-free foods and meals or ones where I can make a quick substitution or adaptation. When eating dairy free, my approach remains the same. Today’s Tuna Chowder recipe is a good example of my gfe ways and my dairy free easily (dfe) approach, too. For either gfe or dfe, I’m not interested in stocking up on lots of specialty products. I like to rely on what’s in my pantry all the time, which I consider to be my actual pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. I always have coconut milk or almond milk on hand to use as my dairy-free milk, and usually oil (olive or grapeseed) to meet the fat/shortening requirement. Plus, I do use organic butter. So when Linda’s theme of Seasonal Soups was announced for this month’s Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free Carnival, my thoughts went to chowder with those dfe ingredients in mind. Specifically, I thought of Chicken Corn Chowder and this Tuna Chowder recipe. I like chowders a lot. I think they’re perfect cold weather fare. I’ve already shared my Quick and Easy Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free New England Clam Chowder before. That recipe was based on another favorite in the gfe household—Baked Potato Soup. But while we love Chicken Corn Chowder, that recipe is shared fairly often online. However, I’ve never seen Tuna Chowder shared, so I decided to share that seasonal soup—with a Seafood Chowder variation.
I found the original version of this Tuna Chowder recipe in The Tightwad Gazette newsletter of May 1994. Yes, long ago. (FYI—The original recipe is also included in the overall compilation, The Complete Tightwad Gazette, of Amy Dacyczyn’s great, but long-ceased newsletters.) I shared it with my good friend, Lisa, and she made it before I had a chance to try it. The original called for a cup of cheese, but Lisa tasted it before and after adding the cheese and said that the cheese didn’t really much flavor or color appeal to the chowder (the carrots alone add a lovely golden orange hue). Now how often does that happen that cheese is not needed? Not often per my experience, but score for the dairy-free set!
Lisa also added potatoes, which just makes sense for any chowder recipe, plus, potatoes can often add extra thickness and creaminess to dishes—another plus for those who are dairy free. I use your basic garden-variety Russet potatoes in this chowder, but I bet it would be lovely with Yukon Gold potatoes. The original recipe made more of a soup and, again, I wanted a chowder so I reduced the milk amount. We eat tuna, but not every day and sometimes not even once a week because of mercury concerns. However, if you don’t eat tuna at all, you can substitute canned or fresh salmon (or another fish of your choice). The rest of the ingredients in this soup are also ones I always have on hand and hopefully you do, too. And you can leave it as Tuna Chowder or you can turn this recipe into Seafood Chowder. While I enjoy it as Tuna Chowder, Mr. GFE thinks the tuna flavor alone is too strong and he’s a tuna fan, so please keep that in mind if you are not. To make him happy, I often add in up to a pound of shrimp and two strips of bacon. Oh, the sacrifices a dutiful wife must make! Mr. GFE’s assessment of my latest Seafood Chowder … “absolutely delicious … put this on the menu and that’s all they’ll order. How can you beat seafood soup?” Indeed.
- 1 to 2 potatoes, peeled and finely diced
- 2 shredded carrots, about 1 cup or so
- 1 onion, diced finely
- ¼ cup butter (dairy or non-dairy)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- Up to 1 lb shrimp (uncooked or cooked); optional; cut into halves or thirds if needed
- 1 can tuna (6 ½ ounce), drained and flaked
- ½ tsp gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (or more, to taste; optional; leave out for refined sugar free)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Dash of other seasonings if desired, like chives and thyme
- ¼ cup flour (or other thickener), if needed
- 2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
- Sautee potatoes in butter in large saucepan or extra deep skillet for about 5 minutes. Add carrots and onion. Continue sautéing until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes more).
- Add chicken broth and then gradually add in milk.
- Heat over medium heat until mixture is thick and bubbling.
- If adding uncooked shrimp, add now and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add tuna, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and any other seasonings.
- Add in flour (or other thickener).
- Cook over medium low heat until potatoes are adequately softened and chowder is thick and tastes like, well, chowder. Add bacon and if adding cooked shrimp, add now and continue cooking over medium low heat just until heated through.
- Serve and enjoy. Makes about 4 servings.
If you are looking for a “bread” option to go with this chowder, there are several here at gfe. Some of the options that contain dairy have been made successfully by readers using alternatives like Daiya Cheese; so please be sure to read comments if you don’t see a dairy-free option in the post itself. My favorites are: Popovers, Marvelous Cheese Muffins, Garlic Cheese Biscuits, Flat and Firm Cornbread, Honey-Sweetened Corn Muffins, Pumpkin Corn Muffins, and Kiva’s Golden Flax Bread (great grain-free option).
Some other great options from my favorite bloggers include:
Looking for more soup recipes? I’ll add the link to the complete Go Ahead Honey Seasonal Soups roundup when it’s up over at Linda’s (The Gluten-Free Homemaker) on Thursday. In case you’re not familiar with Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free, this longstanding monthly blog carnival is the clever creation of Naomi Devlin (Straight into Bed Cakefree and Dried). If you’d like to plan ahead and join in the next few months, here are the hosts and themes: Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake will be asking for your entries for Springtime Brunches in April, Rajashree of Flip Cookbook is hosting a Garden Tea Party in May, and, finally, Aubree of Living Free appropriately selected a Father’s Day theme—You Love Him, So Spoil Him!—for June.
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