Hearty mussel soup


  • 1 kg mussels in shells, scrubbed and beards removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 400 g potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 1 litre vegetable stock, preferably homemade light
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • ⅓ cup (20 g) chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. To prepare the mussels, discard any broken shells or shells that do not close when tapped.
  2. Put the mussels into a clean saucepan and cover tightly.
  3. (There is no need to add water as they should be wet enough after having been scrubbed.
  4. ) Cook over a moderate heat for 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
  5. Check that the mussels have opened – if not, cover and cook for a further 1–2 minutes.
  6. Drain the mussels, reserving the juices that have come from the shells.
  7. Reserve a few mussels in their shells for garnish; remove the remainder from their shells and set aside.
  8. Discard the shells and any unopened mussels.
  9. Heat the oil in the rinsed–out saucepan.
  10. Add the onion, garlic, leeks, celery and carrots, and cook gently for 5–10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.
  11. Add the potatoes, stock, wine, reserved juices from the mussels, lemon juice, bay leaf, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  13. Cover the pan and simmer the soup gently for 20–30 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
  14. Remove the bay leaf and thyme, then add the shelled mussels, parsley and chives to the pan.
  15. Heat gently for about 1 minute.
  16. Do not allow the soup to boil or cook for any longer than this or the mussels will become tough and shrink.
  17. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and garnish with the reserved mussels in shells.
  18. Serve at once, while piping hot.

Serves 4
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 40-50 minutes


Source: Soups & Casseroles
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