SOUPSONG HAS GONE HARDCOPY!
A wonderfully delicate soup, nicely appropriate to begin the Christmas meal in New Zealand. It features the delicate and distinctly green surf clam Toheroa (paphies ventricosa) native to Northern and Southern beaches in New Zealand and much beloved and fished by the Maori. Alas, they became popular world wide, were overfished for the cannery industry--and now are carefully protected. There are a couple local stories about how they got their name (from a powerful chief Tohe; from a spirit who directed starving people to them, urging them to dig deep, toheroa, because these agile little guys can burrow 10 inches down in the sand in no time at all). I like the apocryphal one about the American who doted on them so much that he tried to buy New Zealand just so he'd have exclusive rights to the soup. Serve hot to 4 people for a first course.
Garnish: sprinkles of nutmeg
Mince, then puree the toheroas or clams in a blender. Toss in the onions and blend until pureed. Pour into a saucepan and add the fish stock and any reserved liquid, season to taste. Stir well while heating and simmer gently about 30 to 40 minutes. Beat the egg yolks, then whisk in a cup of the stock and pour back into the saucepan, stirring constantly until the soup has thickened. Stir in the cream, reheat, then serve immediately, sprinkled with a little nutmeg.