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Leek and Potato Soup with Clams
28 Littleneck clams - (abt 3 lbs); scrubbed
2 3/4 c Water
1 1/4 c Dry white wine
3 md Large leeks (white; light green parts, halved lengthwise, only) and thinly sliced crosswise
3 md Russet potatoes - (abt 3/4 lb); peeled, and cut into 1/1/2" cubes
1/2 c Heavy cream
Salt; to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper; to taste
Additional water or cream as necessary
1 1/2 tb Fresh minced chives or green onions
To cook the clams, place them in a heavy large skillet. Cover with the
water and wine. Bring to a boil, cover the skillet, then reduce heat
and simmer for 3 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally. With
tongs, remove the clams that have opened and place them on a tray.
Recover and cook for up to 3 to 4 more minutes. Discard any clams
that have not opened. Line a fine sieve with a dampened paper towel.
Strain the cooking liquid through the sieve into a heavy large
saucepan. For the soup, add the leeks and potatoes to the saucepan
with cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer
until the potatoes are tender, for about 15 minutes. Add the cream.
Coarsely mash the potatoes in the broth to thicken, using a mallet or
potato masher. Season with salt and pepper. (This can be prepared
ahead and cooled. Cover the clams and soup and set aside at cool room
temperature for up to several hours. ) To serve, remove the clams from
their shells and mince. Pour any liquid from the shells back into the
soup through the sieve and discard the shells. Thin the soup with
additional liquid if necessary. Bring to a boil, stirring over
medium-high heat. Add minced clams. Ladle into 4 soup bowls. Sprinkle
with chives. Serve immediately. This recipe yields 4 servings.
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