Clam and Bacon Soup

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine

24 littleneck clams, scrubbed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 slices bacon, chopped

1 head garlic, cloves roughly chopped

3 spring onions or scallions (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced

3 stalks celery, thinly sliced, plus chopped leaves for topping

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1/2 cup half-and-half or light cream

1 small baguette, sliced


  1. Bring 4 cups water and the vermouth to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the clams, cover and cook until they start opening, 4 to 10 minutes; as the clams open, transfer them to a bowl using tongs. (Discard any unopened clams.) Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon starts to crisp, about 7 minutes. Add the spring onions, sliced celery, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 7 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables in the pan; cook, stirring, until incorporated, about 1 minute. Slowly add the reserved clam cooking liquid, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the clams to the saucepan (remove from the shells and chop, if desired); add the peas. Cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the half-and-half. Top with celery leaves and serve with the baguette.