Mussel Bisque

I have an amazing recipe for you to try if you are a seafood lover like me. This creamy, hearty mussel soup is reminiscent of clam chowder with the addition of saffron and tomatoes. The many vegetables give it a stunning vivid look that would complete any table. As the weather falls somewhere between summer and fall, this is the perfect soup to make. The chunky vegetables and cream will warm you up while the mussels make it light enough to enjoy on even hotter days. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2  kilo fresh mussels, cleaned
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 whole canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or dill

Directions

To clean mussel: Put mussels in a large bowl, sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour and cover with water. Let stand for half an hour, then drain, rinse mussels off.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the mussels and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until the mussels open. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, separate the mussels from the shells and set aside, discarding the shells and any mussels that didn’t open. Strain the cooking liquid through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl and reserve.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in another large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions, leek, carrots, garlic, saffron, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute.

Add 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid (discard the rest) and the vegetable stock , bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the reserved mussels, and the cream. Heat until just heated through but not boiling. Stir in the parsley or dill, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Serve hot

-M

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