The "pipi" is a small shellfish also known as a "surf clam". Pipi chowder is similar to a milk-based clam chowder as it's enriched with a little flour and baby potatoes.
The tasty soup is infused with the salty pipi liquor and balanced by its sweet flesh. Throw in some aromatic parsley and sweet basil to intensify the flavors.
You can substitute pipis by using different species of clams such as manila or little necks.
- 20-25 clams, rinsed in cold water
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbsp of finely chopped sweet basil
- 4-5 young potatoes, diced
- 1/4 sea salt
- 1 Tbsp flour, dissolved in 2 Tbsp of cold water
- 1 Tbsp sherry
- 700 ml of milk
- 1 Tbsp of butter
- In a steamer or a stock pot, steam the clams in 1/2 cup of water for 5 minutes or until opened. Remove clams from pot and reserve liquid for the soup.
- Remove the clam meat from shells and chop roughly. Discard shells and set clam meat aside.
- In a stock pot, saute the onion in butter on a low heat for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the parsley and continue to fry for another minute.
- Turn up the heat and add the sherry. Let the alcohol evaporate --this will take about 1 minute.
- Then add the clam liquid and salt. Stir again and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the milk and diced potatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Now add the flour/water mixture and stir well to thicken.
- After about 5 minutes, or just before serving, add the chopped clams to the soup. Add the chopped basil and stir well. Taste the soup and add more salt if it's needed.
- Serve soup with a piece of garlic buttered toast.