Cockle Chowder

Stir the cockles of your heart with Galton Blackiston's rich creamy chowder
By Galton Blackiston
Cockle Chowder
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 1 kg cockles, in their shells cleaned
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 175 ml dry white wine
  • 275 ml whipping cream
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • black pepper
  • crusty bread, to serve


1. Drain the cockles in a colander and leave under cold, running water for a few minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat, then add the shallots and garlic and fry until they just start to colour.

3. Turn up the heat and when the pan is really hot, add the cockles and give the pan a good shake.

4. Add the white wine, cover the pan and cook over a high heat for a few minutes until the cockles have opened, then take off the heat.

5. Once the cockles are cool enough to handle, remove them from the shells and set them aside in a bowl. Discard any that have not opened.

6. Strain the cooking liquor through a muslin cloth into a large bowl and reserve.

7. When you are ready to serve the soup, heat the reserved liquor and simmer to reduce slightly.

8. Add the cream and reduce again, then season to taste.

9. Five minutes before serving, turn the heat down and add the cockles to warm them through.

10. Finally, whisk in the butter and then stir in the chillies, ginger and parsley.

11. Serve with crusty bread.

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