This is the way to enjoy our hard shell clams. Comforting creamy soup, ideally eaten out of a bowl made out of a hollowed out crusty bread roll if you are feeling fancy. Plus it has bacon in, anything with bacon gets the Fishery vote.
- 1kg hard shell clams
- 100g of smoked bacon lardons or pancetta
- 1 medium leek sliced
- 2 diced shallots
- 1 celery stalk finely sliced
- Pinch of salt
- 500g pound waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
- ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 200ml white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 200ml double cream or full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
In a large pan, bring 1ltr of water to a boil. Add the clams, cover, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the clams open. Discard any clams that do not open. Transfer the clams to a dish and set aside to cool. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth to catch any sediment. Reserve the broth.
Once the clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells and chop them into small pieces. Set aside.
Rinse out the pan and return it to the stove over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
Add the leek, shallots, and celery to the pan along with a pinch of salt and cook until softened, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often.
Add the potatoes and thyme and cook for another 3 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and add the wine. Cook for another couple of minutes, until the liquid has mostly evaporated.
Pour in the reserved clam broth and add the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in the clams, cream, and half of the bacon and bring to a simmer to heat everything up to the same temperature.
To serve, stir in the parsley. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and the remaining bacon.