What I had for dinner:
Having run out of coffee, I had to pay a visit to Zabar's; no visit to Zabar's is complete without a visit to Citarella and Fairway. Little Neck clams and potatoes, then.
In the pressure cooker, I cooked 2 chopped shallots with a little olive oil, then added 1 carrot and 1 celery stalk cut in large pieces, 1/4 tsp of cumin, a generous scraping of nutmeg, and a pinch of cinnamon (literally; we want to stay at the subliminal level). After a few minutes, 4 sliced cloves of garlic were added, followed after a minute by a bottle of Belgian White beer (Hoegaarden in this case) and one medium tomato peeled, seeded, and cubed. This was cooked under pression for 15 min.
The celery and 3/4 of the carrot were removed and the remaining piece of carrot was mashed with a fork and mixed into the soup. 1 dozen well scrubbed Little Neck clams were added, and cooked until they just opened. The clams were removed, shucked, cut in two, and set aside. Meanwhile, a large pinch of saffron and 2 small red potatoes in slices were added and cooked for about 10 minutes, or until done. The clams were added back with enough water to bring the volume to about 3 cups; the mixture was brought back to a boil, seasonned with a few dashes of Tabasco, and served with sourdough bread rubbed with garlic. No need to add salt, the clams bring enough to the broth.
Yield: one dinner entrée or 2-3 soup servings.
And a frothy Duvel to drink.