Preparation time: 10 mims
Cooking time: 30 mins
Ingredients needed to make Cockle Chowder:
- 2 lb 4 oz fresh live cockles
- 3 rashers smoked bacon, rindless and chopped into ½’’ slices
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced
- 10 ½ oz potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped into ¾’’ chunks
- 1 medium leek, trimmed, rinsed and finely sliced
- Young celery stalks
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 10 fl oz chicken broth
- 10 fl oz full-fat milk
- 3 ½ fl oz white wine
- 3 ½ fl oz double cream
- 1 oz butter
- 1 fresh bushy thyme sprig
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- Fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 6 large soda bread rolls
Cooking instructions for Cockle Chowder:
- Rinse the cockles and get rid of the damaged shells or those remaining open.
- Place them in a large bowl and pour in enough cold water to cover them.
- Swirl the water for some time and drain them out.
- Continue to do so for 3-4 times and drain them into a colander.
- Heat a saucepan over high flame and toss them into it, along with 5 fl oz water and a splash of lemon juice.
- Place a lid on top and cook the cockles for 5 minutes or until the shells snap open.
- Drain them into a colander and set aside.
- Add a knob of butter into a clean, larger saucepan, and melt over moderate heat until it foams.
- Add the bacon, celery, onions as well as thyme sprig into it and drop in a bay leaf.
- Sauté them for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the veggies soften and caramelize slightly.
- Throw in the potatoes and dust the flour over them.
- Pour in stock, followed by milk and stir them all together to mix well.
- Continue to cook the chowder until begins to simmer gently and cook likewise for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and the chowder thickens; stir it regularly all this time.
- Throw away the bay leaf as well as thyme sprig and drain the cockles out into a bowl, using slotted spoon; get rid of the closed ones.
- Add a splash of wine and cream into the soup and give it a nice stir along with leeks until well combined.
- Adjust the seasonings and continue to simmer gently for 3 minutes and return the cockles into the pan.
- Stir them into the soup and cook for another minute or until the shells are heated through.
- Ladle it into warmed soup bowls and serve alongside soda bread rolls.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons