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Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course

I like to serve this with Scottish oatcakes, which are savory round or rectangular biscuits available commercially made. I often bake my own (a recipe for another day).

2tablespoons unsalted butter
1medium leek, diced, soaked in
water, and drained
1medium Yukon Gold potato, diced
1teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Tiny pinch crushed red pepper
1cup bottled clam juice
¼cup vegetable or chicken stock
8count neck or littleneck clams
6ounces boneless smoked haddock or other smoked white fish or shrimp
1cup heavy cream
2scallions, trimmed and chopped
Grated rind of ½ lemon
Salt, to taste

1. In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the butter until it bubbles. Add the leek, potato, thyme, and red pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.

2. Add the clam juice and vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pot. Simmer for 6 minutes, or until the leeks and potatoes are tender. Add the clams and cook for 5 minutes more, or until they just open.

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3. Add the haddock, cream, scallions, lemon rind, and a pinch of salt. Stir lightly to combine, being careful not to break up the fish. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.

4. Using a slotted spoon, divide the fish, clams, and vegetables among 2 or 4 warm bowls. Pour the creamy liquid over the top and serve with Scottish oatcakes or toasted baguette. Gordon Hamersley