This is such an elegant dish that looks complicated but is quite easy to make. It’s creamy and flavourful with sweetness from the onions, carrots, and tomatoes as well as a hint of saffron. I used big and baby clams to give the soup texture and bulk.  I imagine this is something I would eat by the seaside in the summer, even though it would be perfectly fine for a cold winter’s day.



Course Main Course, Soup


  • 1 bottle dry white wine 750ml
  • 2 pounds fresh clams cleaned
  • 2 can baby clams
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 yellow onions chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • dill or chives for garnish


  • Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the onions, carrots, garlic, salt, and pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally until onions have softened.
  • Add the white wine and saffron. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute.
  • Add the fresh and canned clams with liquid and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  • Add the milk, and cream. Heat until just heated through but not boiling.
  •  Top with chopped dill.


I used baby clams which are canned and come in their juice. Fresh clams would be ideal for this bisque, but I couldn’t find fresh clams that weren’t de-shelled. My grocery store had a package of frozen ones so I used those. Either way is fine, it’s just what is available to you.
The preferred would be the fresh clams which is why I have it in the recipe. If you are able to get all your clams fresh you will want to buy clam juice to add to the bisque. I garnished with herbs and have had this with both dill and chives. I use a little bit of dill which compliments it but doesn’t over power the dish. When I use chives I sprinkle a lot on. It brings a freshness to the dish. You could also use parsley. Adding some fresh herbs at the end is a really nice touch.

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