1 Kg Clams
4 rind less streaky
2 tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
2 potatoes diced
300ml/10 fl oz. milk
1 bay leaf
150ml/5 fl oz. cream
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Put the clams with a half glass of water into a saucepan. With the lid on cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until all the clams have opened. Discard any that remain closed. Drain the clams, reserving the liquid. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Reserve a few clams in their shell for garnish if you wish. Remove the remaining clams from their shells, and set aside.
Cook the chopped rasher in a saucepan until it is browned and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Melt the butter in the saucepan and add the chopped onion and the diced potatoes and cook for 4 – 5 minutes until softened. Add the thyme, bay leaf, milk and the clam liquid. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Leave the soup to cool slightly, then with a blender process until smooth.
At this point add the shelled clams, bacon and cream. Simmer for a further 2 – 3 minutes. Season to your taste with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.
Ladle into warmed bowls, garnish with the reserved clams in their shells and serve.