Traditionally, a good Mexican meal starts with a nice bowl of soup as a first course, just after the appetizers. It can be a simple broth, accompanied with lemon or lime to be squeezed into it, some radish, onion, chili peppers and cilantro leaves for flavour. Or a more elaborated recipe, using seafood, meat, pasta, legumes and vegetables.
I made this soup because I had a bunch of clams left over from my gigantic can of clams I bought from Costco to make this Clam Pasta with White Sauce. I didn't want to make a heavy clam chowder but I was craving a nice, hot soup. So I looked around in my pantry to see what I could come up with and found some Pomi diced tomatoes, potatoes, onion, celery and cilantro. We love Mexican food around here so I thought, why not a Mexican Clam Soup? Who says clams are only in thick chowders or Italian style dishes like Paella or Clams in Tomato and Wine broth..... oh, now I'm wanting those too.
Thanks to the addition of the potatoes, this was filling enough to be a main course for a light meal. Serve with some crusty bread for soaking up the wonderful juices if you would like.
recipe slightly adapted from Camino Florido
TIME 30 MINUTES SERVES 6
2 lbs. canned clams save the liquid since it will add more flavor to your soup
3 cups of potatoes cut in small cubes
2 cups of chopped celery
¾ of cup of chopped onion
4 Anchovy fillets (for more flavor and Omega-3's)
6 cups of seafood broth (I just used the juice from the clams and then about 2 cups of *home made broth I had frozen)
1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper or chili flakes
Salt and pepper at taste
1 lemon, juiced
Heat a large pot and add the olive oil, fry the onion and celery, when the onion is transparent, add the garlic and anchovies. Integrate the potatoes and fry for a couple of minutes stirring continuously. Pour in the broth and clam juice. Add the clams and let it simmer covered with the lid on for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are done yet still firm. Add cayenne, salt and pepper at taste, Add the parsley and the lemon juice. Serve immediately.
* home made chicken broth is not only tastier and healthier than the canned and boxed varieties, but it is a bit milder so it won't overwhelm your seafood dishes with chicken flavour.