This is a great soup, and the changes can be rung with any shellfish and any wild mushrooms. In the wild you just make it as a soup, but once you have an oven the dinner party version has a puff pastry cover.
In a saucepan sauté the spring onions, celery and thyme in the butter for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and soften till the juices run. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the milk, bring to a simmer and add the cockles and diced potato. Heat through and serve.
If you are making the posh dinner party version, make the soup as above and then ladle into four ovenproof soup bowls. Moisten the rims of the bowls with beaten egg and give each a puff pastry lid. Brush with more egg and sprinkle on celery or sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated oven at 220°C/425°F/Gas 7 for 35-40 minutes until the lid is risen and golden brown. Serve at once.
© 1996 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.