Mussel and saffron soup

Mussel and saffron soup

Soupe de moules au saffran

Taste le Tour

From the Languedoc region by Philippe mouchel

The French Mediterranean coast in the Languedoc region is dotted with wonderful little fishing villages where you can enjoy hearty, but delicately flavoured, seafood soups and stews in the local restaurants.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg large very fresh mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
2 shallots, finely sliced
1/2 onion, finely sliced
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf, a few parsley stalks
2 strips orange peel
250ml dry white wine
3 diced tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 tablespoons water
125ml cream
a good pinch saffron threads
30g butter, cubed
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons finely snipped chives


  1. Place the mussels in a large saucepan and add the shallots and onion. Tie the thyme, bay leaf, parsley stalks and orange peel together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Pour in the wine and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil over a high heat and cook for a few minutes until the mussels have just opened.
  2. Lift the mussels out of the cooking liquid and place in a bowl. Remove the onions and the herb bouquet. Taste the liquid and if it is too salty add a little water. Add the diced tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the mussel meat from the shells and keep warm.
  3. Mix the cornflour with the water then whisk into the simmering soup. Bring to the boil, then add the cream and cook for a few minutes. Add the saff ron then blend in a liquidiser until smooth (or use a hand blender). Stir in the butter until melted then season with plenty of black pepper.
  4. Divide the mussels between 4 soup plates, pour on a little of the soup and sprinkle with chives. Bon appétit!
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