Clams in a light fennel and shallot broth

We spent last week in Vermont in a sea of wildflowers, green hills and lots of berries. I will be writing all about it in the upcoming days as I am still sorting through the hundreds of images I captured.

I will come back with them soon.

In the meantime, I want to tell you about this dish we all shared during our stay.

Since the day we arrived at Nadia’s house on the hill, all of us seemed to have this unexplainable fish craving. We discussed it several times. “We need to stop to get some fish in Manchester from this fish market I keep hearing about” said Nadia. Romina and I quickly nodded.

I wanted to cook for everyone that night and that seemed the perfect excuse.

We arrived at Earth and Sea fish market. The sign announced they were closing in 5 minutes. Our options were limited – but good regardless. We got clams, mussels, King salmon and shrimp.

I thought of the clams I had prepared a few days before at home. Steamed in a light shallot and fennel broth. It seemed like the perfect light dish for a late summer dinner that would satisfy all of us. The version I had made at home used slightly different ingredients, but the method the same.

We headed back to the hill and while Nadia, Jon and Miren tended to the animals, I went into the kitchen – where I always feel most confident.

I steamed the mussels and clams. Separately I sauteed the shallots and fennel. This time, I also added zucchini and peas from Nadia’s growing garden. The shrimp and King salmon went in last as they take a mere minute to cook. A sprinkle of raw green onions, cilantro and mint finished it all.

We all had seconds and even thirds.

Clams in a light fennel and shallot broth

serves 4

1 1/2 pounds (675 g) little neck clams
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
1 medium fennel bulb, diced
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 quart (1 liter) chicken stock
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch piment d’Espelette
Chives and fresh parley, to garnish

In a medium pot, combine the clams and 1 cup (250 ml) water. Cover and cook over medium high heat until the clams open, about 5 minutes (depending on their size). Remove the clams from the pot and reserve the liquid.

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and fennel. Cook for 7 minutes until soft and translucent (do not brown). Add the potatoes, chicken stock and reserved clam juice. Bring liquid to a boil, cover pot, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the parsley, salt and pepper and puree it in a blender.

Serve the fennel and shallot cream with the clams and sprinkle a bit of piment d’Espelette on top.

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60 Responses to “Clams in a light fennel and shallot broth”

  1. A wonderful combination! I’d love to try yor broth (I’ve neverhad clams).



  2. This looks delicious, such a simple, light summer meal. I’m going to have clams on my mind now too!

  3. Ohh, my! Such lovely palette of colors and beautiful atmosphere! <3

  4. Oh, that looks truly lovely. I love simple shellfish meals in summertime.

  5. Oh, perfection! Sounds like the ideal summer (or anytime) meal to me; made especially sweet when shared with friends in such a beautiful setting. I am heading up to Seattle in a few days…dreaming of fish, clams and shrimp. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  6. tinajo says:

    Looks so beautiful and I bet it tastes the same! :-)

  7. Wow that sounds and looks amazing. I just had clams the other day and I realized I really need to have them in my life more often. Looks like I will be buying some this week :) Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Iratxe says:

    ¡Qué ricooo!. Hace unas semanas compramos unas almejas con un tamaño fantástico, el pescadero me aseguró que estaban limpias, me sugirió que las pusiera en agua con sal para purgarlas solo por si acaso. Las puse en salsa verde, se abrieron todas, era un espectáculo y… ¡estaban llenas de arena, no había manera de comerlas, fue una pena… En fin, ¡esta receta me encanta!, me la llevo. Un besote.

  9. Iratxe- si, que pena. Yo siempre las pongo en agua salada por lo menos media hora antes de cocinarlas.

    Thank you all!

  10. Sara says:

    Ooooh, lovely!! This is a great dish – looks so elegant and delicious. :)

  11. Anaise says:

    A world tour of food markets is on my travel bucket list – and Vermont might have to feature quite heavily.

  12. A great looking and tasty looking dish. I love the photo of the window.

  13. Anaise- it’s definitely a place to visit . So green, pure country, abundant food in the summer and autumn… I live VT.

  14. Thirds. I had thirds. I never have thirds. Loved it! Miss you!

  15. I had thirds. I never have thirds. Loved it! Miss you.

  16. Romina- Nothing makes a cook happier than seeing people eat seconds and thirds. You know this well! So great to see you again. Miss you!

  17. Jean Raney says:

    Visiting Vermont is on my bucket list. What a beautiful dish – looks amazing!

  18. Great flavor combination! Love clams, I can smell it from your photos! :)

  19. What a peaceful, pretty blue! I have had a hard day and this has been such a comforting, sweet thing to come to. Thank you.

  20. What a peaceful, pretty blue! I have had a hard day and this has been such a comforting, sweet thing to come to. Thank you.

  21. What a peaceful, pretty blue! I have had a hard day and this has been such a comforting, sweet thing to come to. Thank you.

  22. Astrid says:

    Love all your blogs and photography, but especially loved the Clams in the light fennel and shallot broth. Was reading this at 6.30am, on a damp, grey East Yorkshire morning, but I could almost smell the broth and wanted a big bowl of it there and then. It set my stomach rumbling. Another set of beautiful pictures as well. Inspirational.
    Many thanks,

  23. What a beautiful color palate, recollection and enticing recipe! Thank you for sharing, I look forward to seeing more from Vermont!

  24. What a beautiful color palate, recollection and enticing recipe! Thank you for sharing, I look forward to seeing more from Vermont!

  25. Elena says:

    Gorgeous and delicious!!!!

  26. Beautiful, beautiful pictures!!

  27. This is a perfect recipe for the Pacific Northwest! I pre-ordered your book a couple weeks ago! I don’t like to wish away time, but I am very excited for October.

  28. Lynne- yes ao perfect! I can’t wait to get to Seattle. And thank you for preordering book. Hope you will like it.

  29. What a beautiful blog you have! And how yummy looks that! Definitely have to try it soon :)

  30. Juliana says:

    Simply delicious. I can’t wait to see more Vermont pictures. A beautiful place for sure.

  31. Juliana- yes it is… you know well :)

  32. Melissa says:

    No wonder if we can see it’s clean :(

  33. Your pictures are really stunning, and I bet it is also delicious !

  34. This dish looks amazing and seems fairly simple. I love it!

  35. This looks absolutely fabulous. Pinned it to make this week! Love, love, love everything about it.

  36. What a perfect summer dish …. thank you for the recipe.

  37. a. maren says:

    what a beautiful, simple dish. i am not good at making seafood, but this looks like something i could actually handle. lovely!

  38. Such a calming color palatte. I’ve never tried clams but I’m thinking this would go well with prawns too.

  39. ozgrkdn says:

    Hi ,My daughter’s blog LookbookUnlimited is began broadcasting…I hope, you do support her:)))Have a nice day:))

  40. This looks so delicious! I am not normally a huge fan of clams but I would eat this just to get a sip of the broth.

  41. maroc deal says:

    Amazing pictures !
    Thanks for the recipe

  42. andreja says:

    Great pictures as always

  43. lntu says:

    These pictures are beautiful (as usual!) I bet that dish is really light and perfect for summer. I’ve never thought of putting cilantro in with seafood but maybe I’ll try now!

  44. Totally banking this recipe…looks delicious!!

  45. Rachel says:

    I love anything clams and this sounds absolutely divine! I must try it soon!

    Have a great day!

  46. I just wanted to say we made this tonight, and it was the most delicious way I’ve ever had clams. We licked the shells even, it was so good. The fennel and shallots give it such a subtle flavor, and the consistency of the broth was like a warm velvety cloud. Just wonderful, thank you so much.

  47. Anonymous says:

    recipes and photographs are incredible – love this post!

  48. Melissa says:

    This is an amazing recipe. I made it twice in one week. So this is really upsetting: She’s even copied your photographic style. And not even mentioned you.

  49. Melissa says:

    Up until a few hours ago, the recipe at the other blog contained piment despelette. I left a comment for her about stealing recipes and she emailed me after removing that ingredient.

  50. Hi, Aran :)
    Hope you received my email about the said recipe above.

  51. Caron says:

    oh yum. Discovered on Pinterest – making for dinner tonight!

    Here’s another great steamed clam recipe you might like:

  52. Ange says:

    Foodie & photography – a wonderful mix!

    Ange @

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