Optional: Take 3 pieces of any kind of bacon and cut into small pieces. Place in the bottom of a heavy soup pot and render it until soft.
Place a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a heavy pot until it covers the bottom
a little of both medium flame, when it’s hot, add
Cut up 2 or 3 zucchini- small diced
1 small leek white part only finely chopped or 1 onion, red or white, or a combo of all 2 or 3 finely chopped
3 or 4 slices of chopped fennel (anise) or some celery
A finely chopped carrot if you like carrots.
A bay leaf
Fresh thyme of dried about ¼ teaspoon or to taste
A shake of dried oregano
Some salt and black pepper to taste
Dump it all in. Stir it around for a while until it smells really good and veggies are translucent and soft.
Use garlic press- squeeze in a few cloves or chop some up and add to pot.
Stir around and leave for about a minute- burns easily.
Then add some tomatoes. I use whole canned tomatoes without salt. I open the can and then take each out and SQUISH them in my palm over the pot. It is very freeing but you have to aim carefully. Oh- I wash my hands before I begin this ritual.
Then I open about 4 small cans of chopped clams and pour out only the liquid into the pot, leaving the little chopped clams in the can for now.
I let this bubble away for a while for the flavors to mingle. I like to recite some Macbeth while this is happening and cackle a little.
I then sometimes add some salt free Sazon- adds that oomph- don’t if you are MSG sensitive.
So now you have to add some water or broth to bring the liquid up or you will have clam stew. I add about 6 cups unless I want it thicker. I use water and this soup paste that I buy. You can use stock but make sure it’s not too salty. Keep tasting it. Adjust seasoning. Sometimes I add some cumin for an earthy taste.
Then add those patiently waiting little clams and just let it heat for about a minute or so.