Spanish-style chorizo and pipi soup

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Here is another of my favourite soups, just so flavoursome and just so Mediterranean. The combination of chorizo and the pipis is divine and the use of apple cider in this dish takes me back to Barcelona. The use of leek in place of onion provides a more subtle flavour and really does make a difference. Make sure you have plenty of warm crusty sourdough or toasted baguette to serve with this, because it really does cry out for a ‘dip in’ to savour the soup. This recipe will serve 4.

Spanish-style chorizo pipi soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

25g unsalted butter

1 leek, pale part only, halved lengthways and sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

100g chorizo, halved lengthways, sliced

330ml bottle apple cider

400g cannellini beans, rinsed, drained

1 litre good-quality fish stock (you can use chicken stock)

2 tablespoons plain flour

1 kg fresh pipis or clams

125ml pure pouring cream

1/2 bunch chives, chopped

Crusty bread, to serve

Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes until softened. Add garlic and chorizo, and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add the cider, beans and fish stock, then bring to a simmer.
Dissolve the flour in 80ml hot water and add to the pan, stirring to combine. Add the pipis to the pan and cook, covered, for 2-3 minutes until they open. Add the cream, season and stir until combined. Remove from the heat and divide among warmed serving bowls. Scatter with the chives and serve with the crusty bread or toasted baguette.
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