IMG_5446.JPGYah, a rainy day it has been and something about a nice, hearty soup but maybe not so heavy or caloric. Clam Chowder is usually awash in milk or heavy cream, so what might give it the essential creaminess but…lighter?

Coconut milk. So…as I found myself moving toward warmer, tropical climes, a Thai food sense naturally presented itself to me and I ran with it. Potatoes are not a big part of Thai cuisine to my knowledge, but rice is. And so is basil. And clams? Very natural. So I started.

Beginning with some aromatics like celery and onion, I sautéed them in a combination of coconut oil and butter, followed by the canned clams. Meanwhile, I cooked up about a half cup of rice in water and cooked it about halfway, then added this and the potatoes to the broth and tested for seasoning. The existing salt and pepper hadn’t punched it up much, so I dropped in a bit of Filipino Patis (fish sauce) and it started to come together.

I finally added a handful of fresh clams and gave it another five minutes, meanwhile chopping up some fresh Thai basil to garnish with. I also made a small bit of Thai cucumber salad with dry, roasted peanuts. It was just fine, but the cilantro put my wife off…though the soup was close enough to lugow (a thick Filipino broth of rice and veggies similar to congee) to bring a satisfied smile to her lips.