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clam soup with fregula (or not…)

In ingredient on April 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

let me first take a moment to complain about whole foods. they used to be the go-to place for fancy, special, or otherwise rare ingredients that you couldn’t find elsewhere. now they just seem to be a regular old grocery store with expensive prices. plus you have to look hard to find produce that’s organic. plus they didn’t hire me once. (but it’s sick how much i still love them…)

anyway! this soup came from the best of the best food and wine cookbook, which is one of only three cookbooks that this non-cookbook gal regularly uses. i’m always pleased with how things come out, and this was no exception.

it called for “fregula” – which it defined as small, toasted semolina pasta – but i couldn’t find any (hence the whole foods rant), so i approximated with pearl couscous that i toasted first.

clamsoupcouscoustoasting

clamsoupcouscoustoasted

the rest of it is very simple. this is one of those recipes that might look intimidating, but has only a handful of ingredients (and not particularly scary ones at that!) and probably only took me 30 minutes to put together. big bang for buck – that’s what i like.

clamsoupingredients

cook your clams in a cup of water until they open up. remove with a slotted spoon and save the juice.

then the recipe called for sauteeing two slivered garlic cloves, a pinch of red pepper, and a handful of chopped parsley in 1/4 cup oil, but i think that was a little much. the soup ended up pretty oily. i’d go with a couple tablespoons of oil instead.

clamsoupfryingveggies

then add four cups of fish stock and the clam-water you saved from before, and bring it to a boil.

add 3 diced roma tomatoes, 1 cup of couscous (or fregula if you’re luckier than me), and a pinch of saffron.

clamsoupbroth

reduce to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes, until pasta is done. taste it now and see if it needs salt, but i didn’t add any because the clam are already very salty.

remove from the heat and stir in the zest of one lemon. add the clams, and serve!

clamsoupdone

clamsoupserved

i will definitely be making this one again.

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