What you’ll make when you have cute little clams and good quality baguette on hand? Clam chowder maybe? Unfortunately, I didn’t have corn and potato, besides that, I want something light, not a creamy soup. More recently there was a dish that I really want to make. It was a David Rocco Italian Clam Soup or Zuppa di Vongole. I make it soupier and use a tomato paste instead of cherry tomatoes. For the croutons, I use a day old baguette from Authentique French Bakery. It is a small French bakery in Kemang, South Jakarta and the owner is a French lady. I bought my baguette from there yesterday, I love her baguette, It fresh and I don’t want to add too much flavour. I just shredded the baguette and fry it with olive oil and infuse it with thyme.
Clam Soups with Thyme Croutons
- 2 pounds fresh clams
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzle
- 1/4 cup minced shallots
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 750 ml chicken stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- French baguette, or any French or Italian loaf bread
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil or butter
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Rinse clams under cold water and soak in a bowl of cold water. Discard any shells that remain open or cracked.
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat, add chopped shallots, stirring for a minute, then add garlic, and chilli flakes, cook for about 1-2 minutes until sizzle, keep stirring to prevent the garlic burning.
- Stir in tomato paste, then add chicken stock and white wine. Let it boil and then let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Add clams and simmer it for 3 minutes with a lid on, until all the clams open, shaking pan occasionally.
- Sprinkle chopped parsley and salt, to taste and stir to let everything to combine. Serve the soup warm with more chopped parsley and thyme croutons.
- Croutons: cut the bread into small cubes or just shred it. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, make sure the oil is really hot before adding the bread. Add bread and thyme, and mix them up with oil until lightly coated, spread the bread in a pan and let it brown on one side, and then stir it and cook until it starts to brown on the other side. Remove from heat.