New England Clam, Salt Cod and Bacon Chowder from Sam's Brasserie

Dish type: Soup

Preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves 4

16 large or 32 small clams
25g butter
50g streaky bacon, cut into small dice
110g onions, diced
225g potatoes, diced but not washed
300ml milk
120ml cream
1 fresh bay leaf, cut into fine shreds, or 1 dried bay leaf, crushed
Cooking liquor from the clams
100g salt cod fillet, skinned and cut into 1cm pieces
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 ready-made water biscuits, broken into little pieces

1. Wash and scrub the clams then place them in a large pan with a splash of water.
2. Cover tightly and cook over a high heat.
3. As soon as the clams are open, take the pan off the heat and drain them in a colander, saving the cooking liquor in a bowl.
4. When cool enough to handle, remove the clams from their shells and cut the meat into 1cm pieces. 5. Melt the butter in a pan then fry the bacon until it starts to brown. Add the onions and fry until softened.
6. Place the potatoes in a separate large pan with the milk, cream and bay leaf. Bring to the boil then reduce to a slow simmer until just cooked but still firm.