Jersey Royal, saffron and cockle broth

Serves 4
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Now that the price of Jerseys has dropped somewhat to almost standard small potato prices we can be a little more relaxed in how often and how we use them. Live cockles sound troublesome, but they're not. All you need to do is give them a good rinse first to get the grit out, and then add them to the soup. Simple as that. If you can't find live cockles then small clams or mussels will do just fine.

1 medium leek, cut into rough 1cm dice and washed
A good knob of butter
250-300g large Jersey Royals, scraped, quartered and sliced
1.5 litres fish or chicken stock
100ml double cream
250g cockles, washed well under cold running water for 30 minutes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1tbsp chopped wild fennel or dill

If you're using live cockles, agitate them every so often while you are running them under the tap to release any sand and give them a thorough rinse. Gently cook the leeks in the butter in a covered pan for 4-5 minutes, stirring every so often until soft. Add the stock, season and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cream and potatoes and simmer for another 6-7 minutes. Add the saffron, cockles and fennel and simmer until they have opened then serve at once.

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