Mary’s Clam Soup ~1875

5 Ingredients or Less Clam Soup Recipe.

Hmm… Maybe just make clams in white sauce? Dispense with the soup label. Looks yummy, but there really isn’t much in it other than the clams and the butter fat from the cream. It certainly doesn’t qualify as a chowder.

This particular clam soup recipe calls for 50 clams. There are 10 clams to 1 pound for the smallest clams. There are 4 clams to 1 pound to the larger, top neck clams.  If we go with the first calculation, you’ll end up with about 5 lbs of clams. If we go with the second calculation, you’ll end up with 12 pounds of clams. I do not pretend to be clam connoisseur, so maybe that weight difference is all shell, but I’m thinking one would go with the smaller clams. Reminder, a gill is 8 tablespoons.

Even though we live near the ocean, clams are still something of a specialty food for the family. And while I love simple recipes, I think I’d go for a more flavorful clam or fish chowder recipe.

Try Our Clams 1875

Cooking with Clams.

A local chef was recently giving a cooking demonstration down at the wharf making a dish using fresh clams. I’ve always been taught that when you get clams the general practice is to toss them if they are open. Actually, I do this with any fresh shellfish. However, the chef said that if there is a clam that happens to be open a little, tap it on the shell to wake it up. If the clam closes, then it’s still safe to eat. He proceeded to demonstrate and I’ll be darned if that little clam didn’t close right up. If the clam doesn’t close, then you toss it.

Do you know how many clams I’ve needlessly thrown out?

Shells on Beach
Local Beach Treasure

Frozen clams are also an option. Make sure to thaw completely before use. They require very little cooking to bring them up to the recommended temperature of 145F for safe consumption, and can quickly become tough. Ugh.

Canned clams seem to be the go-to ingredient for chowders and other recipes where the subtle flavors are going to be muddled with other ingredients. Easy to use when you’re making an already involved recipe. Keep a can on the pantry shelf.

Other recommendations from the readership?

Source: In the Kitchen, 1875.

More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks

2 thoughts on “Mary’s Clam Soup ~1875

Add yours

  1. Literally tap it on the shell, like tapping someone on the back, or pick it up and tap it on the counter? The clam should maybe play dead…poor thing!

    Liked by 1 person

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