Cook This: Chipi Chipi (Venezuelan Clam Soup) Gluten-free

DSC_4363Everyone in our family loves clams, including my five-year-old (you can see him slurping one down at the end of the post.)

We usually go for simple steaming with white wine, garlic, cilantro and some variation of butter (I’ll post that recipe soon) but last week I had a hankering to try something different.

If you’ve read my past posts you may know that  I’m always looking to try new Central and South American recipes.  One of the cookbooks on my shelf,  Latin Ladles, included recipe for a Venezuelan clam soup called Chipi Chipi.

The author explains that Chipi Chipi is actually a type of Venezuelan clam.  As we obviously don’t have those readily available in Portland, I used the substitute he recommended,  Manilla clams- fresh from Flying Fish Co.  I adjusted the recipe slightly, per usual, but it’s pretty close to the original. I always mean to try more recipes from this cookbook. This was a good reminder.


  • 1 quart bottled clam juice- I use Crown Prince because there’s no other junk in there
  • 1/2 quart + 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup carrots peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 TBSP soy free earth balance (for dairy-free) or organic butter
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic minced fine
  • 2-3 pounds of clams
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 TBSP minced cilantro
  • 1 TBSP flat leaf parsley
  • lime wedges for each bowl


  1. Place clams in a bowl and rinse with cold water until it runs clear.
  2. In large pot bring clam juice and water to a rolling boil. Add carrots, celery, and potatoes. Turn down and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat.
  3. In a saucepan melt earth balance or butter. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and wine. Bring to a simmer and add clams. Cover until first few clams start to open up (peek, but be careful of the steam, it’s hot!)
  4. Toss clams by stirring or shaking pan until they all pop open. Discard any clams that don’t open at all.
  5. Put clams in serving bowls, pour in broth and spoon some of the veggies from the broth pot. Top with cilantro and parsley. Serve with lime wedges to be squeezed over soup before eating.

It was a hit!


Dr. Samantha

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