Golden mussel chowder

Golden mussel chowder

By
From
Arabesque
Serves
4-6
Photographer
William Meppem

In this glorious, creamy soup plump, salty mussels and sweet, candied bacon rub up against soft, starchy potato in a golden broth. It needs only hot crusty bread to make a satisfying luncheon dish, or a soul-restoring starter on a cold, grey day.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg black rope mussels, de-bearded and scrubbed
1 onion, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
30ml olive oil
200ml white wine
2 medium potatoes, peeled, diced and steamed
2 small leeks, steamed whole
200ml thickened cream
10 strands saffron, roasted and crushed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 medium tomatoes, de-seeded and diced very small
pepper
4 small rashers bacon
soft brown sugar
baby cress, to garnish

Method

  1. In a heavy-based pot sauté the onion, celery and garlic in 30 ml olive oil for about one minute. Then add the wine and the mussels. Cover, turn the heat up high and steam for 3 minutes. Turn the mussels well, replace the lid and steam a further 2 minutes, or until the mussels have opened.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to steam a further minute before taking off the lid and straining the liquor through a fine sieve to catch any dirt. Reserve the liquor. Throw any unopened mussels back into the pot and steam for another minute or two. Any which stubbornly refuse to open should be discarded. Allow the mussels to cool and then remove them from their shells and cut in half.
  3. Steam the diced potatoes and whole leeks for 10–15 minutes, until they are tender. Remove them from the heat and allow them to cool a few minutes. Split the leeks in half lengthways and then cut them into 1 cm slices.
  4. Return the mussel liquor to the pot, add the cream and bring it to the boil. Add the potatoes and leeks, then the saffron and thyme. Heat thoroughly. Add the diced tomatoes and mussels and warm through for a few moments. Season with pepper.
  5. To candy the bacon, sprinkle the rashers liberally with soft brown sugar and grill until golden-brown. Shred and sprinkle on the soup. Garnish with baby cress.
Tags:
Middle East
Middle Eastern
Arabic
Arabian
Arabesque
Greg
Lucy
Malouf
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