Clams in a Shallot and Pernod Broth

by Jen on September 27, 2012

Lately, I’ve been trying to shake off the cold virus from hell that just won’t go away. It comes then it goes, then it comes back again. When the cold (referring to both the virus and the weather) season sets in, it’s time to wrap yourself in a big blanket or a knit sweater to combat chilly winds and fading sunlight. The antidote to this cooler weather? Something hot, of course!

The severe weather changes and the sharp temperature jumps we experience in our Canadian autumn really does the body in! This means lots of sniffling noses, itching throats, burning foreheads, aching muscles to be dealt with.┬áIt’s time to call the troops in!

We march right into the kitchen for a batch of hot soup to soothe the body, to warm the insides. A cup of soup never gets old. When our immune system is compromised, a little hot something-something always does the trick in making us feel downright comfy!

Like this clams in a hot broth I made. The thin-shelled, cold-water pasta clams (yay, they are here!) are starting their season right now. Get them while they’re hot!

*Inspired by a cookery lesson in Le Mas de Carassins and recipe from Cannelle et Vanille here.

5.0 from 7 reviews
Clams in a Shallot and Pernod Broth
Recipe Type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
Inspired by M. Jauffret's dish at Le Mas de Carassins in St-Remy-de-Provence and recipe from a blog post by Aran at Cannelle et Vanille blog.
  • 2 pounds (950 g) pasta clams
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • a splash of Pernod (an anise-flavoured liqueur)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely diced
  • ½ cup Pernod (an anise-flavoured liqueur)
  • 2 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • smoked Spanish paprika, Basque pepper (piment d'Espelette), or cayenne pepper
  • finely minced chives, parsley, marjoram, or cilantro to garnish
  1. In a medium pot, combine clams, garlic, a splash of Pernod, and 2 cups of water. Cover and cook clams over medium high heat until clams open, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Remove clams and set aside. Reserve at least 1 cup of clam broth.
  3. In another pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the shallots. Sweat for about 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant and translucent.
  4. Add the other ½ cup Pernod and cook for about 1 minute or until the alcohol has just evaporated.
  5. Stir in the potatoes, vegetable stock, reserved clam cooking water.
  6. Bring pot to a boil, then cover. Reduce to simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  7. Season with salt and white pepper.
  8. Using an immersion hand blender, puree the soup and then strain.
  9. Serve soup with clams and garnish with your preferred herbs (I used chives and marjoram).

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Cass @foodmyfriend September 27, 2012 at 2:45 am

Stunning styling as usual. You always match such beautiful colours and flavours 10/10!


Choc Chip Uru September 27, 2012 at 7:55 am

I adore your lovely flavours in this my friend :D

Choc Chip Uru


Mavis September 27, 2012 at 8:44 am

Gorgeous photos as always :) I’ve got that nasty cold too … thank goodness for the Z-Pack!


Phenomenal Mama September 27, 2012 at 9:24 am

Wow! Send some over!:) I just love how you are adventurous, and how it extends to the food that you serve on your table.

When any of my family members have the first sign of a sniffle, I give them Cold FX. It’s a Canadian brand of cold relief. It really works for us. Have you tried it?


Tessa September 27, 2012 at 9:56 am

Lovely clams! I hope you feel better soon!


Jean | Lemons and Anchovies September 27, 2012 at 10:12 am

I remember having clam soup a lot growing up but it was never as refined as this. I love the Pernod and piment de’Espelette additions. A winner of a recipe.

I hope it did the trick to bring you towards recovery. :)


Suzanne September 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Jen this a is a beautiful soup. I love soup when I’m feeling bad and I would love to have this one the next time. Hope you shake the cold for good.


Laura (Tutti Dolci) September 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm

What a comforting and beautiful soup! I love the flavors here – shallots and Pernod sound just perfect!


Laura September 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Hi Jen,

I really enjoy your blog. Styling and photos are great. The soup recipe sounds awesome but I am unfamiliar with “pasta” clams here in California. I am hoping that I can ask the fishmonger for another thin shelled clam that will offer up the same flavor and I will look forward to trying the recipe. The pictures make me want to do it now instead of working.

Hope you feel better soon.


Patty September 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Beautiful soup with wonderful flavors, looks like my kind of comfort food! I hope you’re on the mend;-)


Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking September 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Hope you’re feeling better Jen. The cold weather is slowly settling in here. We already turn the heat on, especially over the night.
Your soup is definitely going to make anyone feel better.


Jen @ Savory Simple September 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm

This is beautiful! Wonderful styling and photos, it looks delicious.


Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} September 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Hope you are on the road to feeling better! This soup looks amazing. My hubby would adore this. Your photos are just stunning! :-)


mjskit September 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm

What a delicious looking clam soup! Love the broth, the flavors of the broth and everything about this dish! Your pictures are gorgeous and make me want to grab a spoon and dig in!


Sandra's Easy Cooking September 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Oh dear Jen, not you too! I know how you feel…I had cold twice in one month. Just crazy weather, and kids do bring from school all kinds of bugs. I sure hope you are feeling better by now.
We had some soups and broths while I was sick too. Yours looks fantastic, so beautiful and warms me up just by looking! If I was closer I would bring you whole pot full of my soup now that I am recovered! Take care and rest if you can..I know it’s not easy but try!


amy @ fearless homemaker September 28, 2012 at 10:39 am

This sounds just lovely. Whenever I feel under the weather, the first thing I go for is a bowl of hot, preferably spicy soup. It always seems to do the trick! Hope you’re feeling better. =)


Deb September 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm

It seems autumn is closing in on the last days of summer earlier; or perhaps I’ve missed the subtle changes this year. Your photos capture the early autumn light in a wondrous bowl of warming broth and clams. A tasty post!


Julia September 29, 2012 at 4:20 am

I love soups with clams. Haven’t made it in a long time. Your soup looks very delicious!


Amy (Savory Moments) September 29, 2012 at 8:39 am

These clams look so beautiful and flavorful. Just lovely! Hope you are feeling better.


Allison September 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I just wanted to drop a line about how gorgeous your photos are! Found you on taste spotting. You have a new admirer of your photography and follower of your blog!


Nami | Just One Cookbook September 30, 2012 at 4:14 am

Hope you will feel better soon. Moms cannot get sick! I got better from my last cold then I’m feeling a little sick right now, and I’m about to get flu shot next week…and I cannot get sick!!!! Get lots of rest, and feel better soon, Jen! And this gorgeous soup… I’m speechless! If this soup is served to my bed, my bedroom will turn into Michelin star restaurant… ;)


Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts September 30, 2012 at 9:43 am

That broth sounds wonderful, perfect to warm you up and make you feel better!


GrillinGuy September 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Very impressive food photography. I am definitely going to try this clam recipe.


Raymund October 1, 2012 at 3:33 am

You never fail to make things look beautiful


sippitysup October 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm

This is just so sophisticated. I love it. Pernod (anise in any form really) is so great with clams. GREG


Kiran @ October 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Oh my. This recipe looks so beautiful!! Love the styling!!

ps: I hope you are feeling better now. xo


Kate @FramedCooks October 13, 2012 at 7:26 am

Your pictures are just breathtaking!! This takes cold weather soup to a whole new level from regular old chicken noodle…I feel warmer just looking at it. :)


Luksana November 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Very nice! this is one of my favorite seashell soup. Healthy and I like baby clams. Thanks


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