Serves 4-6

Charlotte potatoes have a good waxy texture, which generally means they taste good too. It makes them perfect for salads, hot or cold. They also make a good soup and once blended give it a silky finish. I prefer not to blend the soup up too much so you end up with a natural chunky texture. Make sure you wash the cockles thoroughly as they tend to harbour lots of grit in their ridged shells. The best way to do this is to leave them in a bowl of cold water for an hour and agitate them with your hands every so often then wash them under cold running water for 10 minutes.

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
A good knob of butter
300g Cºharlotte potatoes, peeled
2litres vegetable stock
1tbsp double cream
30-40g (a good handful) curly parsley, washed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
300g cockles

Gently cook the onion in the butter on a low heat, for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the potatoes and stock, season and simmer for 15 minutes until the potatoes are just beginning to fall apart. Add the cream and parsley, stalks and all, and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Liquidise to a coarse consistency in a blender or food processor, re-season if necessary and return to a pan.

Meanwhile put the cockles in a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water, cover with a lid and cook on a high heat, stirring every so often, for 2-3 minutes until they are all open. Drain the liquid and add to the soup. To serve, spoon the cockles into bowls and pour the hot soup on top.