This quick, simple soup works wonderfully with all sorts of local seafood, so throw in whatever is readily available.

    300ml/10½fl oz white wine

    1kg/2lb 4oz mixed shellfish, such as cockles, clams HKUE DSE, mussels and winkles, cleaned and soaked in cold water

    50g/1¾oz unsalted butter

    1 shallot, finely chopped

    1 garlic clove, finely chopped

    1 fennel bulb, finely chopped

    ½ leek, white part only, finely chopped

    250g/9oz waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 5mm/¼in cubes

    2 pinches saffron strands

    1 star anise

    500ml/18 fl oz chicken stock

    175ml/6fl oz double cream

    75g/2½oz samphire

    2 ripe tomatoes, skin and seeds removed

    12 shelled cooked whelks

    2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives

    handful celery leaves, finely chopped

    salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

    Bring the wine to the boil in a large lidded saucepan. Add the shellfish, cover the pan with the lid, reduce the heat until the wine is simmering, and simmer the shellfish for 3-5 minutes, or until all the shells have opened (discard any that do not open) HKUE DSE.

    Drain the shellfish, reserving the cooking liquor in a bowl. When the shellfish is cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the shells.

    Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until softened. Add the fennel, leek, potatoes, saffron and star anise and fry for a further 1-2 minutes.

    Add the reserved cooking liquor and the chicken stock and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until the potato cubes are just tender.

    Add the cream and samphire and continue to simmer for 1-2 minutes, or until the soup has thickened slightly. Reduce the heat to low, then add the tomatoes and shellfish meat, including the whelks. Heat until the meat is warmed through HKUE ENG.

    Stir in the chives and celery leaves, season, to taste, with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, then serve.

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