With a pound of fresh mussels sometimes your options can seem slightly limited. But when life gives you mussels….

This is an expansion of a well-loved white wine and garlic recipe for steamed mussels which adds potatoes, cream and some chopped tomatoes turning it into a delicious soup or chowder which is a complete meal unto itself.


For 2-4 people you’ll need: 1 lb fresh mussels (wash and remove beards, discard opened shells), 1/3 cup chopped shallots, x2 chopped garlic, 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (leaves stripped from stem), 1 Tbsp fresh parsley (chopped), 3-5 medium potatoes chopped into 1/2″ chunks, 1/2-3/4 cup white wine, 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, 1 Tbsp heavy cream, 2 strains of saffron, 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper.

Wash and de-beard the mussels. Discard any which have not remained tightly shut.

Boil some salted water in a large saucepan and boil the chopped potatoes for 4-5 mins. Drain and set aside. 

In a deep pot, add the olive oil and butter and heat over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Add the chopped shallots and garlic and sauté quickly until softened, 1-2 mins. Add wine, thyme, parsley, cream, saffron and tomatoes and stir well for about 1 minute until it begins to lightly boil.

Add mussels and potatoes and stir well to coat. Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 6-8 mins until all of the mussels have opened. 

Serve in bowls with plenty of broth with crusty bread on the side. Makes a hearty, tasty soup, that’s great for dunking.


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