Cockle, parsley and cider broth

Cockle, parsley and cider broth

By
From
Hix Oyster & Chop House
Serves
4
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Cockles have a great flavour, better than their larger cousins clams, in my opinion, and a fraction of the price. That said, of course meatier clams can be used for this soup. You could even add a couple of handfuls of mussels if you like.

Cockles have a tendency to be a bit gritty, owing to the grooves in their shells, so make sure you wash them really thoroughly.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg live cockles
150ml cider
30g butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
25g plain flour
1 litre fish stock
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
3-4 tablespoons double cream
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. To clean the cockles, leave them under slow running water for about 15 minutes, agitating them with your hands every so often to release any trapped sand. Give the cockles a final rinse and drain.
  2. Put the cleaned cockles in a large saucepan with the cider. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over a high heat for about 2–3 minutes, shaking the pan every so often, until the cockles open.
  3. Drain the cockles in a colander over a bowl, to catch the cooking liquor, then strain the liquor through a fine-meshed sieve into another bowl and set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a clean saucepan and gently cook the onion and garlic for 3–4 minutes without colouring. Add the flour and stir over a low heat for 30 seconds, then gradually whisk in the strained cooking liquor and fish stock. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. By now the liquid should have reduced by about one-third and have a good flavour.
  5. In the meantime, remove about two-thirds of the cockles from their shells; leave the rest as they are.
  6. Add the chopped parsley and cream to the soup and simmer for a couple of minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  7. Divide all the cockles between warmed soup plates and pour the hot soup over them to serve.
Tags:
Hix Oyster & Chop House
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