Cockle and mussel chowder with sweet potato and spring onions
- March 2013
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 15 minutes, oven time 30 minutes
Serve this creamy seafood chowder, made with mussels and cockles, with plenty of crusty bread.
- 15.4g (9.1g saturated)
- 39.5g (11g sugars)
- 100g butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- Pinch each of freshly grated nutmeg and cayenne pepper
- 1 small leek, white part only, chopped
- 1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1 litre light chicken stock or veg stock
- 500g fresh mussels, cleaned
- 200ml dry white wine
- 300g fresh cockles
- 1 bunch of spring onions, chopped
- 20g fresh chives, finely chopped
- Heat the butter in a heavy-based pan, then fry the onion over a gentle heat for 10 minutes until soft, without browning. Add the garlic, thyme and spices, then fry for 1 minute. Add the leek and three quarters of the sweet potatoes. Pour in the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile heat a separate lidded pan over a high heat, then add the mussels. Pour in the wine, then cover for 2-3 minutes until the mussels have steamed open. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the cockles to the pan. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add to the mussels, reserving the liquid. Leave to cool.
- Remove the meat from half the mussels and cockles and leave the rest of the shellfish in their shells.
- Cook the remaining sweet potato in salted boiling water for about 7 minutes, then drain and set aside.
- Once the sweet potato in the soup is soft, blend the mixture with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth, then pass through a sieve. Thin the soup with the shellfish juices to the desired consistency and strength of flavour.
- To serve, add the sweet potato chunks and the shelled mussels and cockles to the soup, then reheat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with the shell-on cockles and mussels, and scatter with chopped spring onions and chives.
When cleaning shellfish, discard any that don’t close firmly when tapped.
You could use palourde clams (from fishmongers) in this recipe instead of cockles.
Use ordinary potatoes instead of sweet potatoes, if you like.
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