Five-Minute Clam Stew

Updated February 23, 2016

This homey recipe is the invention of the late gastronome Roy Andries de Groot, who claimed to serve it several times a month. And why not? It’s fast, it’s made from staples, and it’s delicious. The canned baby clams from Thailand are particularly good.




Total Timeunder 30 minutes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationlow carb

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, herby, rich, savory

Type of Dishhot soup, soup


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 3 (10-ounce) cans minced clams
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 4 drops hot pepper sauce
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 pints light cream or half-and-half
  • ½ lemon
  • Paprika
  • Finely snipped fresh dill
  • Finely snipped watercress leaves


In a 2-quart saucepan, melt all but 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, but don’t let it brown. Strain the clams through a sieve and reserve the clam broth. When the butter is melted, stir in the thyme, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and salt. Cook for a minute, then add the clam broth and turn the heat to high, stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches a boil.

Lower the heat and add the cream, stirring—be careful not to let the cream boil. When the cream is hot, add the clams, stir again, and cook for 2 minutes.

Ladle the stew into 4 heated bowls. Squeeze a little lemon juice into each bowl.

Divide the remaining butter in quarters and drop a piece in the center of each portion.

Sprinkle a ring of paprika around the butter and add an outer ring of the snipped greens. Serve immediately.



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