I first had a delicious bowl of Portuguese seafood stew in Cape Cod many years ago. Settlers from Portugal immigrated to Massachusetts in large numbers in the late 19th century to work in the fishing industry. Thankfully, the Portuguese culture influenced the flavors and tastes of the region.

There are a number of traditional old Cape Cod dishes called Portuguese stew. Most include fish, clams, sausage, and/or kale. I recommend using the smallest clams you can find. Mussels would also work in this dish. I like the briny littleneck clams, they are small and tender. The smoky chorizo, combined with clams and kale, create a robust meal. You can serve with toasted bread cubes or a piece of crusty bread to soak up all of the lovely broth.


Photo by Matthew Mead


Portuguese Chorizo and Clam Stew

  • Author: Ronda Carman
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound Spanish chorizo sausage, casings 
removed, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
1 Spanish onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups fish stock or clam juice
1 cup dry white wine
1 bunch kale, stems discarded, chopped
3 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed clean
4 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
zest and juice of a lemon  


In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo, cooking until it has rendered some fat 3 to 5 minutes. Add the fennel and onions. Cook until soft and fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, smoked paprika and crushed red pepper, cook an additional minute.

Stir in the kale, cam juice and white wine and bring the mixture to a low boil. Gently add the clams to the broth. Cover and cook until the clams open up, 6-8 minutes. Discard any clams that don’t open up. Add parsley, lemon zest and juice. Serve in soup plates with crusty bread or bread cubes.  


Bread cubes:
3 slices French  bread, cut into 1-inch 
Olive oil cooking spray
flakey salt

Heat the oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment or foil.

Arrange the bread cubes on the prepared baking sheet, then mist with olive oil, tossing to coat all sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then toast in the oven until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove the croutons from the oven and allow to cool.

  • Category: soup
  • Cuisine: seafood

Keywords: clams

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