Pochas with clams

  • 4
  • 60 minutes plus overnight soaking time for the beans

Pochas are an immature green-white bean popular in Rioja, Navarre and the Basque Country. This warming stew is one of the most popular ways to enjoy them in Rioja - braised with seafood and chorizo.

First published in 2022

Most live clams bought at the supermarket have already been purged of sand, but if you buy them from a fishmonger you'll need to do this at home. Simply dissolve 2 tbsp table salt in 1 litre of water, and then pour this over the clams. Let them purge for 1 hour in the fridge, and then lift the clams out of the sandy, salty water. Rinse them, and then use as normal in the recipe.






Soak the beans overnight in plenty of cold water

  • 500g of dried white pochas beans

The next day, drain the soaked beans and set aside. Rinse your clams and discard any that don't close when tapped, or which have crushed shells


Add a dash of olive oil to a large pot and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and fry until the sausage starts to crisp up and the fat begin to render out

  • olive oil
  • 100g of chorizo, roughly chopped

Add the shallots to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until the shallots begin to soften but not brown


Add the drained beans, leeks, pepper, carrot and garlic to the pan. Top with enough water to cover, then bring the water to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer gently for 30 minutes, taking care not to let the pan boil


Remove the veg and garlic from the pot. Squeeze the garlic out of its skin into the jug of a blender along with the rest of the vegetables. Blend the vegetables until smooth, adding a dash of water if needed, then add the puree back to the beans


Bring the broth back to a simmer, and then add the clams and cover. Cook the clams until they open, about 3-5 minutes. Discard any which stay closed


Season the soup with salt to taste then top with parsley and serve with some crusty bread

  • salt
  • 1 handful of parsley, chopped
  • crusty bread, to serve
First published in 2022

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