Lidia Matticchio Bastianich’s Tomato and Clam Soup

This dish has all the flavors of red clam sauce, and all the comforts of a tomato soup. For those days when you want to stay away from pasta and clam sauce, or don’t feel like a creamy clam chowder, this is a delicious alternative. Serve it hot, or at room temperature in the summer, with some grilled crusty bread.

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich’s Tomato and Clam Soup

Serving Size: Serves 6 or more

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich’s Tomato and Clam Soup


  • 6 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil, plus more to finish
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 2 dozen littleneck clams, washed and scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • Two 28- ounce cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand (see page 78)
  • 1 large fresh basil sprig
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red- pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 cups day- old crustless bread cubes


  1. In a large pot, over medium- high heat, put 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Once the garlic is hot, add the clams and 1 cup of water. Cover, and simmer until the clams open, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the clams as they open, discarding any clams that don’t open. Pass the cooking liquid through a strainer and reserve. Remove the clam meat from shells, and coarsely chop.
  2. Meanwhile, in a soup pot, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, red- pepper flakes, 1 cup of water, and the reserved clam- cooking liquid. Taste, and season with salt. Bring to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the bread cubes. Simmer, breaking up the bread cubes with a whisk to make a thick soup. Remove the basil. Stir in the chopped clams, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.


Copyright © 2013 by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. Photographs copyright © 2013 by Marcus Nilsson.


Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking: 150 Delicious and Simple Recipes Anyone Can Master by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, Tanya Bastianich Manuali

Published: Oct 15, 2013 by Appetite by Random House
ISBN: 9780449016206
Price: $35.00

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Lindsey Reeder is slowly learning how to navigate her way around the kitchen. It only made sense that she would choose a career in book publishing with a last name like Reeder. As a Coordinator in the Online Marketing at Random House of Canada, Lindsey spends her days tweeting and blogging about books that make her laugh, make her cry and everything in between. Follow Lindsey on Twitter at @reederreads or @RandomHouseCA.

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