Clam, smoked bacon and cider broth


A hearty broth that's perfect for winter.


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g/5oz smoked bacon rashers, chopped
  • 1 dried anchovy fillet
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, trimmed, finely chopped
  • 1 small leek, trimmed, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2kg/4lb 4oz medium clams, cleaned, (discard any clams that remain open after rinsing)
  • 300ml/11fl oz good-quality dry cider
  • handful chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 4 slices white crusty bread
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled


  1. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a lidded frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the bacon and anchovy for 2-3 minutes, or until the fat is released from the bacon.

  2. Add the thyme, carrot, celery, leek and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

  3. Stir in the clams and cider and cover the pan with a lid. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then steam the clams for 2-3 minutes, or until all of the clams have opened. (Discard any clams that have not opened during cooking.) Stir in the parsley.

  4. Meanwhile, drizzle the remaining olive oil over the slices of bread and sprinkle over the sea salt.

  5. Heat a griddle pan until hot and grill the slices of bread for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown char marks appear on both sides. Rub each slice of toast with the garlic clove.

  6. To serve, press a slice of charred bread into the bottom of each of 4 large serving bowls and ladle over the clam broth.