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Author Notes: This recipe comes straight from the Frenchman's mother. It could not be simpler. The flavors are clean and surprisingly well developed, considering how fast this soup comes together. —Cristina Sciarra
Makes 1 generous bowlful
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 shallot
- 1 pound small clams, cleaned
- 1 tablespoon flour
- sea salt, pepper
- 1 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
- 1-2 lemon wedges
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven (or a pot with a lid). Meanwhile, mince the shallot. When the butter is bubbling gently, add the shallot. Let it sweat, stirring occasionally, until it smells quite good and is translucent.
- I always ask the fishmonger to clean the clams for me, but even so, I give them a good rinse in cold water. Then, add them to the shallots. Stir to coat them in the butter and the shallots. Put the lid on the pot, leaving about an inch of space to let steam escape. Cook the clams for 8-10 minutes, or until they've opened. (Discard and clams that refuse to open.)
- While the clams are steaming, make a slurry in a small bowl with the flour and 3/4 cups of water. When the clams are open, add the flour water to the pot. Stir everything together, mixing the clam water with the slurry, so that the soup thickens, 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the white wine and the crème fraîche, and let the flavors come together, another 1-2 minutes.
- Pour the clam soup into a bowl. Just before eating, squeeze some lemon onto the soup. Serve hot.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Shellfish