Sunday 5 November 2006

colombian clam soup

Sopa de Almejas

In 2001, I worked at an English language college. I recruited students, held conversational English lessons and organised social activities.

One of the students was a Japanese guy by the name of Takanori. We got on really well and when Jonas met him they got on swimmingly too. Pretty soon we were hanging out on weekends with Taka-san and his friend Testuya.

Recently Taka visited Sydney again and stayed at our house for a week. We had so much fun and I had forgotten just how namaiko (cheeky) he was.

Taka had a list of things he wanted to do while he was here and one of them was to go to the Sydney Fish Markets.

I took the day off work and we trundled over to the markets. It was great having a snap-happy friend in tow because I felt normal when the two of us lined up photos.

We ate a huge lunch of chips, calamari, battered fish, oysters and octopus. I also got Taka to try some Sydney Rock Oysters from Nambuca and a jumbo oyster from Tasmania. I was pleased I could pass on a lot of knowledge about oysters after the Manta Oyster Forum.Afterwards we bought ingredients for a feast and then came home to cook up a storm. It was a team effort with Taka chopping and peeling while I hammered through the recipes.

We made three dishes: Hawaiian ahi poke, Colombian sopa de almejas and Mexican tomato & almond sauce with prawns.

I have already blogged about the ahi poke, and I plan to post about Taka’s favourite, Camarones en Pipian, but this post is about my favourite, Sopa de Almejas.

I got this recipe from The Ultimate Soup Bible by Anne Sheasby. This chilli broth is said to come from coastal areas in Colombia. The book says it’s a perfect summer lunch, but I think this is a perfect main, entrée, lunch or dinner - all year round! I adored the fresh flavours and it was simple to make. I will make this again and again and again.

Sopa de Almejas (Clam Soup)
"The Ultimate Soup Bible" by Anne Sheasby. Serves 6.

1.3kg fresh clams/vongole
400ml canned plum tomatoes, drained
400ml fish stock
250ml dry white wine
30ml olive oil
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon coriander, finely chopped
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Lime wedges
1. Heat the oil in a pot. Sauté onion for 5 minutes over a low heat. Stir in the garlic and chillies and cook for a further 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and bring to the boil, then simmer for 2 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, diced potato and stock. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer on low heat. Season with salt and cook for 15 minutes until the potatoes are beginning to break up and the tomatoes have made a rich sauce.
3. Meanwhile, wash the clams thoroughly under cold running water. Remove any grit or algae. Gently tap any clams that are open and discard those that don’t close.
4. Add the clams to the soup, cover the pot and cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until the clams open. Discard any clams that have not opened.
5. Stir in the chopped herbs and season to taste. Ladle into warmed bowls and squeeze lime wedges over soup before eating.

This week, Weekend Herb Blogging is back with its creator at Kalyn's Kitchen. Check out all the wonderful recipes at Kalyn's recap.



  1. Sounds like you had a great time. I bet the Sydney Fish Market is quite amazing. Nothing like that at all here. I think the soup sounds fantastic. I like the sound of that cookbook too - the Ultimate Soup Bible! What a great name for a cookbook. Think I'll check and see if they have it.

  2. That's a wonderful photo of the soup. I know what you mean, i would have it for lunch or dinner, entree or main too!

    The recipe looks so easy which is a bonus.

  3. Oh my Anna! I love the look of that soup. I enjoy clam soup so much. I would eat that soup anytime--even breakfast! :):)


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