Coorong Pipi Chowder

11:30 am on 11 June 2012

Recipes from South Australia / Tasting Australia Festival

This lovely light chowder was enjoyed as part of our local producers lunch at No.58 Cellar Door and Gallery in Port Elliot on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The recipe was kindly given to me by the chef Liz Pitman.

The pipis (what we would call clams or cockles) come from the nearby local beaches.

(Serves 8-10)


  • 2 kilos pipis or small clams
  • 125 mls white wine or water
  • 3 tablepoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 rashers streaky bacon, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1½ teaspoons dried basil
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 6 medium potatoes diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2½ cups fish or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups tomato passata
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • fresh chopped parsley to garnish


Check the clams and discard any that are cracked or which do not open when tapped.

Heat the wine or water in a heavy based pan over a high heat and throw in the clams. Cover, reduce the heat and leave, shaking the pot occasionally, until the clams start to open. Remove them as they open and once cool enough to handle remove the meat from ¾ of them, leaving the balance in the shell.

Reserve the cooking liquor to add to the stock.

Heat the olive oil and add onion, bacon and garlic. Sauté until the bacon is cooked and the onion and garlic is beginning to caramelise.

Add the herbs and vegetables, stir to coat and then pour in the passata and stock. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Add the clam meat at end and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the remaining clams in their shells and a little parsley.

Stephen Morris’s wine match

SHAW AND SMITH Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – Adelaide Hills

It’s a bit like taking coals to Newcastle, talking about Australian SB to NZ. On the nose this has good herbal green freshness, and a hint of passionfruit. By comparison it’s just a little fuller than traditional Marlborough SB. It’s highly regarded in Aust.

MAHI Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – Marlborough

A juicy, almost plump, nose with grass and passionfruit vines. Cuts back on the palate to zesty lime, but with a smooth and even finish. Texturally very smooth and delicate-light.

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