Saffron Mussel Soup
- 3 dozen mussels
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 2 cups fish stock or clam juice
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 leek, cut into thin strips
- 1 celery stalk, cut into thin strips
- 1 carrot, cut into thin strips
- Pinch of saffron
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Remove beards on mussels, and scrub shells with a brush. Discard any opened or cracked mussels.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan; add shallots and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes or until translucent. Add wine; bring to a boil. Add mussels; cover and cook 5 minutes, shaking saucepan occasionally. Remove mussels with a slotted spoon when they open, discarding any that remain closed; set aside.
- Add fish stock and next 6 ingredients to saucepan; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes over medium heat. Strain, separately reserving both cooking liquid and vegetables. Discard bay leaf.
- Add saffron to 1 tablespoon warm water; cover and steep 2 minutes.
- Heat cream in a saucepan over medium heat until very warm (do not boil). Add saffron mixture to cream. Stir in reserved cooking liquid, salt, and pepper.
- Remove half of mussels from shells. Spoon vegetables evenly into shallow serving bowls. Place 3 shelled mussels and 3 unshelled mussels on top of vegetables. Ladle warm broth over vegetables and mussels. Serve immediately.
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