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Scallop and Saffron Soup

Affiliate Disclosure | in Recipes | by | with 3 Comments

I don’t eat a lot of seafood because I’m concerned about mercury and other contaminants. (We do buy Wild Alaskan Salmon once a year in bulk, though.) But. I. LOVE. Seafood. And every once in awhile I just can’t help myself.

There are relatively safe and environmentally sustainable choices out there, even in landlocked suburbia. Monterey Bay Aquarium has a Super Green List of recommendations on what’s healthy for us and our environment that I like to go by.

Last week when I broke down and asked the guy at Whole Foods if they had any caviar, he looked at me like I was a three-headed piranha. He told me caviar isn’t in season right now. I told him to tell the baby that.

No dice. So I went with option #2: scallops and chopped clams. While scallop and saffron soup is usually served in a delicate broth with all the veggies strained out, I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I mean, seriously, throw away veggies? After trying it with the herbs and veggies, I have to say those people are missing out! Here’s the recipe:


  • 1 lb scallops
  • 1 lb clams (chopped)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 red onion (finely diced)
  • 6 garlic clove (finely sliced)
  • 1 small leek (finely diced)
  • 1 small fennel bulb (finely chopped)
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 large tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp thyme (where to buy organic thyme)
  • 1/2 tsp saffron thread (placed in 1/2 cup hot water to infuse)
  •  sea salt and pepper (to taste) (where to buy sea salt)
  • 2 tbsp chives (chopped)


  1. Place the clams and wine in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Strain the juice from the clams and reserve.
  3. Heat 1/3 cup of the olive oil in a large stockpot.
  4. Add the onion, leek, fennel and garlic with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, on a medium heat.
  5. Add the clam juice, tomatoes, herbs, saffron in water and chicken stock.
  6. Bring to a simmer and skim off any foam that rises to the top.
  7. Drizzle the remaining olive oil into a frying pan.
  8. Cook scallops on medium heat for 1-3 minutes, depending on their size (if they are jumbo sized it may take longer).
  9. When the scallops are ready, place them and the clams into the soup and simmer for five minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

CUISINE: Seafood

Nutrition Fact: Scallops are rich in Tryptophan (a mood elevator), Vitamin B12, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc and Copper, Protein, Phosphorus and Selenium. Clams contain Riboflavin, Niacin, Potassium and Zinc,Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Iron, Phosphorus, Copper, Manganese and Selenium.
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3 Responses to Scallop and Saffron Soup

  1. Tiffany says:

    That looks so good. I am unfortunately allergic to shellfish. (developed the allergy while pregnant with my eldest. Before that shellfish was my absolute favorite!!! I really miss it).

  2. Heather says:

    Oh, Tiffany! I’ve never heard of developing an allergy while pregnant. I am so sad for you. I like salmon, but I LOVE shellfish!!! Now you’ve got me thinking about all the foods I am so glad I’m not allergic to. Seriously, life without butter? Impossible.

  3. Sara says:

    HI Heather,
    I see that this recipe was posted over FOUR years ago but just checking, do you still limit seafood b/c of fears of mercury/radiation? Or do you just get it from the Pacific ocean? We’re trying to implement the Cure Tooth Decay plan and I’m looking for recipes for clam since I’ve never made it. But now I’m wondering if I should be worried about the mercury? Are these clams in a jar or fresh?
    Thanks so much!

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