Clam Soup from France
80 littleneck clams, the smaller the better
1 bottle dry white wine
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
Tabasco to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste
8 or more servings
Rinse the clams under cold running water to remove all traces of sand from the shells.
Heat the butter in a large soup kettle.
Add the onion, shallots, and garlic. Stir and simmer until the onion is wilted. Sprinkle with the thyme, tarragon, and flour.
Add the wine, stirring constantly. Simmer for five minutes and add the clams. Cover and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and shaking the kettle occasionally, until the clams open, five to ten minutes.
Add half of the cream and stir. Blend the remaining cream with the egg yolks and stir into the soup. Cook over low heat almost to the boiling point; do not let the soup boil.
Add salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste.
Serve in hot soup bowls, with a sprinkling of chopped chives on top of each serving.
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