Spanish Clam Soup

Photo: Kate Mathis
Prep Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

Paprika and cured ham lend smokiness to this rustic Mediterranean-style soup, and red bell pepper imparts color--and the benefit of vitamin C--to the divine broth. Make sure to have good Italian bread on hand--you'll want to soak up every drop.


  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine

  • 8 sprigs thyme

  • 4 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and diced

  • ½ medium red bell pepper, diced

  • 6 thin slices serrano ham or prosciutto, finely chopped

  • 1 red serrano or red finger hot chile, split open lengthwise

  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed

  • ½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika

  • 6 thick slices crusty bread, toasted


  1. In a large pot, bring wine, 3 cups water, and thyme to a boil; add clams. Cook, covered, until clams open, transferring them to a bowl with a slotted spoon as they do, 5 to 8 minutes. Discard any clams that have not opened; cover bowl. Let broth cool 5 minutes, then pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a container (you should have about 4 cups).

  2. In another large pot, heat oil over medium. Add parsnips, bell pepper, ham, chile, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring often, until parsnips are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Add paprika, clam broth, and clams. Heat through and serve, with bread.

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