600 gm cooked clam meat (170 – 200 New Zealand littleneck clams/cockles/tuaki in the shell)
2 tbsp oil
470 gm leeks washed and finely sliced
230 gm bacon chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
340 gm sweet potato peeled and chopped small
470 gm potato peeled and chopped small
2 litres clam or fish stock, or a mixture of stock and water
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup chopped parsley
Scrub the clams and place them in a large pot.
Boil 1 litre of water and pour it over the clams, cover with a lid and turn the heat to high.
Cook the clams until their shells are open. Then drain them in a colander, retaining all the cooking liquid. The clams will have contributed some water so now you will have more than the 1 litre you started with.
Remove the clam meat from the shells and chop each clam in half.
In a large heavy pot, heat the oil then cook the leeks and bacon until they are soft, stirring frequently.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the sweet potato and potato, then the stock which you have saved from cooking the clams.
Cover and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes).
Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed.
Add the lemon juice and parsley and stir.
This soup improves after a day or so.