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Spanish Mussel and Chorizo Soup

Yield 4
If you have trouble finding chorizos, use hot Italian sausage or spicy kielbasa.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 chorizo sausages (6 ounces), halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds, bruised with the side of a knife
  • Two 3-inch strips of orange zest
  • Two 8-ounce bottles clam juice
  • One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • Crusty Italian or French bread

How to Make It

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the chorizos, shallot, garlic, fennel seeds and orange zest and stir over moderate heat until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, tomatoes and 1 1/3 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir in the orzo, cover and cook until barely al dente, about 8 minutes. Add the mussels, cover and cook until they open, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels and the orange zest. Serve with bread.

  2. Wine Recommendation: 1995 Morgan Malvasia Bianca from California or 1994 CUNE Blanco Seco from Rioja, Spain.