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Cockle Cream with Bacon, Tomatoes and Potatoes

Rick SteinThis is one of Rick Stein's recipes which we have kindly had permission to reproduce which should whet your appetite for more.

To find out more about Rick Stein and his passion for seafood have a look at his biography page.

For further information about his restaurants in Padstow, Cornwall, his new cookery school and to see his online delicatessan visit his website - click here.

If you would like to know more about his books and how to order them have a look at our Bookstore which will also link you to Amazon for further details.


2.4 litres (4 pints) cleaned cockles
900 ml (1 1/2 pints) water
25 g (1 oz) butter
50 g (2 oz) lean bacon, diced
1 leek, cleaned and finely sliced
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 plum tomatoes, skinned and thinly sliced
2 potatoes (about 350 g /12 oz), peeled and cut into small dice
Juice of 1 small lemon
2 eggs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Place the cockles in a large pan with 150 ml (5 fl oz) of the water. Cook over a high heat, shaking the pan every now and then, until they have opened. Tip them into a colander set over a bowl to collect the liquid and leave them to cool a little.
  • Melt the butter in a large pan, add the bacon and cook until it is just beginning to brown. Add the leek, celery and tomatoes and cook until the mixture "begins to flop". Meanwhile, remove the cockle meats from the shells.
  • Pour all but the last tablespoon or two of the cockle liquor into the pan, add the rest of the water and the potatoes and leave the soup to simmer until the potatoes are soft - about 10 minutes.
  • Add the shelled cockles and taste the soup for seasoning. Whisk the lemon juice with the eggs in a bowl. Pour on a ladle full of the hot soup, whisk together and then stir the liaison into the soup. Stir it over a low heat to thicken slightly but don't let the soup boil. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Serves 4

To visit Rick Stein's website which features regular new recipes - click here