Serve this light, delicately flavored soup with crusty country-style bread to soak u the broth. You can use mussels in place of the clams, if you prefer; the parsley vinaigrette is also delicious drizzled on sliced grilled chicken or fish.
Clams in Fennel Broth with Parsley Vinaigrette
For the vinaigrette:
1/3 cup (1/2 oz./15 g.) minced flat-leaf parsley
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 small fennel bulbs, including stalks and fronds, sliced
2 shallots, minced
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) dry white wine
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) chicken broth
2 lb. (1 kg.) manila clams, scrubbed
To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, stir together the parsley, lemon zest and juice, oil, mustard and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature.
In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter with the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, fennel and shallots and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the clams to the pot, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover and cook until the clams open, 6-8 minutes. Discard any unopened clams.
Ladle the clams and broth into bowls, drizzle with the vinaigrette, and serve. Serves 4.