Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Clam and white bean soup with chorizo

Here's a fairly simple dish that I came up with last night. The dish is, I think, a Portuguese preparation. At least, the main ingredients are all commonly found in Portuguese cooking. I found that the broth was a little thin for my taste, so next time I make it I'll play around with the seasoning a little more. Below, I listed the ingredients that I used, but if you make this, I would suggest trying ways to improve the broth. I listed a couple suggestions.

Depending on how long you let things simmer, this meal should take only about 45 minutes to make. I served it with baguette toasts and side of greens the had been braised with garlic, chicken stock, red pepper flakes, and cider vinegar.

INGREDIENTS (2-3 servings)
2 lb clams
2 14oz. cans of white beans.
1/2 lb chorizo, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
4-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small bottle clam juice
1/4 cup white wine
olive oil
red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste
parsley or cilantro for garnish

Start by cooking the onions, garlic, carrot and chorizo with 1 Tbsp olive oil a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add a splash of white wine and turn the heat up to high to reduce the wine. Let the wine reduce for about a minute then add the clam juice. Add another 2 cups of water, the beans, and bring everything to a boil. Turn the heat back down to medium and let everything simmer together for a while. It can be as little as 10 minutes or as long as an hour. The more time you let this cook, the more the flavors will blend together. As this mixture is simmering, you can start seasoning. You can add a bay leaf and/or a few sprigs of thyme to add some depth to the flavor. Add salt and pepper a little bit at a time, and keep tasting the broth until you like the taste.

As I mentioned above, the broth was a little thin. Perhaps it just needed more time, but replacing the water/clam juice mixture with seafood or chicken stock might have improved things. The right amount of salt and pepper did help out a lot, but it didn't get it all the way there.

Once you are about ready for dinner, throw in the clams and let cook, covered, until the clams open up (around 5 to 8 minutes). Garnish with parsley and lemon juice.

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