Cockle Chowder with streaky bacon

Serves: 4

    2 kilo of cockles in the shell

    100g dry cured streaky bacon with the rind removed

    2 onions chopped about 225g

    150ml of white wine or dry cider

    100g carrots cut into small dice

    500g of potatoes diced

    100g leeks finely chopped

    50g unsalted butter

    Sprig of thyme

    300ml milk

    100ml double cream

    A pinch of smoked paprika

    Chopped flat parsely
  1. Wash the cockles in cold water and drain.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the bacon and chopped onion and cook on a low heat until the onion is soft, add the carrot and leek and continue to cook until they are soft.
  3. In a separate pan heat the white wine or cider, add all the drained cockles and place on a high heat with a lid, give the pan a good shake and cook until the cockles have opened, have a bowl and a colander ready and pour the cockles into the bowl.
  4. Pour the drain juices though a fine sieve onto the soft vegetables and bacon, add the potatoes, thyme and milk and cook until the potatoes and just cooked.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, pick the cockles out of the shells, then add to the soup mix once the potatoes are cooked.
  6. Add the cream, paprika and check the seasoning, be careful with salt, just before serving add the chopped parsley.