Littleneck Clam Soup with Butter Beans and Saffron
- TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup finely diced Serrano ham or prosciutto (2 ounces)
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fine dry bread crumbs
- Two 15-ounce cans butter beans with their liquid
- Pinch of dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Large pinch of saffron threads
- 2 tablespoons water
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 dozen littleneck clamsscrubbed and shucked, liquor reserved
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the ham and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the bread crumbs, then add the beans and their liquid along with the thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil.
- In a small bowl, crush the saffron threads into the water. Add to the beans and season with pepper. Simmer the soup over low heat for 15 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the clams and their reserved liquor and cook for 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Sprinkle the soup with the parsley and serve.
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