Spicy Red Clam Soup

It’s hard to believe October is flying by and we will be into November soon. During this time, the body changes and may get a little run down due to the  seasonal shift.For me there is nothing more enticing these days than exotic spicy soups to rev this old girl up. October has been crazy busy with regular work, social activity, and few catering gigs.  Someone asked my the other day via Twitter where I have been as I have literally dropped on the earth with all my activities. I’m living and working hard. As a result I have been spreading myself thin and fighting the good fight against completely getting ill. So far so good. These days,  stuck  in the affluent North Shore,surprisingly I have been finding some great food shops . My nearby favorite is the Korean Mega Store H Mart, where I find myself doing regular grocery shopping because the meat , fish , and produce is outstanding! While having the fish man wrap up some halibut for me , I saw freshly shucked clam meat for 2.99 a pound. I instantly knew soup was going to be on the menu as I recovered with a rare weekend off and Certain Someone away for a bit.

I’m going to call this creation a soup, as opposed to  a chowder. To save  my waistline from further punishment I used the concept of a red based Manhattan Clam Chowder as an inspiration. The tomato based clam chowder was created by the Portuguese of New England  who decided to omit the cream. That didn’t go well with some and in return it was called Manhattan Clam Chowder to differentiate the chowder styles and as some some sort of insult , because anything New York was insulting. Go figure. There are many types of chowders and I decided to create my own clam based soup. No potatoes or bacon for me. Just lots of spices, tomatoes garlic, bell and hot peppers as a base . Maybe my African roots are waking up. I took some food memories of my Nigerian father sauteing tomatoes, garlic, and peppers in hot  oil to flavor his fish or chicken Nigerian soups/stews. I then thought about hot spicy Szechuan flavors and Hungarian Hot Paprika. I was all over the place. But the end result is oh so good for cold blustery or rainy day. Enjoy. And your waistline will thank you too.

Spicy Red Clam Soup
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5-6 cups
A spicy red based clam soup
  • 2 lbs clam meat fresh, canned, or frozen
  • 5-6 plum tomatoes chopped ( can leave skins on)
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 bell pepper minced finely
  • 1-2 hot peppers( Serrano, Korean, Jalepeno, etc) depending on your heat tolerance. Seeded and minced.
  • 5 cups chicken broth or 3 tablespoons chicken soup base with liquid equivalent
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar (milder in flavor)
  • 3 Tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Vegeta ( optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of Thyme
  • ¼ cup Sherry
  • Red Pepper flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste if needed
  • Olive Oil
  1. In a pot add a few tablespoons of olive oil and heat .
  2. Add chopped tomatoes , garlic and green peepers. Saute until cooked down and starting to break down.
  3. Add clams and some of their liquid ( about ¾ cup).( If canned there will be more and don't use as much). Cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the chicken soup base and liquid or broth.
  5. Add rice vinegar, Vegeta ( Optional), Paprika, Thyme, and the minced hot peppers.
  6. Allow soup to come to a boil and reduce heat until a low simmer.
  7. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking flavors. Clams should be tender.
  8. Adjust to your taste. If more liquid needed add more clam juice or broth.
  9. During the last 10 minutes , stir in the Sherry and simmer.
  10. Turn off heat and serve hot.


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5 thoughts on “Spicy Red Clam Soup

  1. tracey

    This looks beyond delicious,and would have been really great this past weekend(it was chilly)I am in love with the color of this soup it just says “hello I am delicious”I think I will make this for our halloween festivities and serve it over a little rice perhaps(LOVE my carbs;-)thanks for sharing,have a wonderful week.

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