I really like cooking with mussels because you can get that real seafood experience without the usual hassles of removing fish bones and skin. And it only takes about 5 minutes to cook the mussels on the stove top- full of flavor but so easy to make!
Living in South Australia for part of the year, I’m lucky to have access to wonderful mussels and oysters from the Port Lincoln area, located on the Boston Bay.
Boston Bay, South Australia
Boston Bay Mussels
Mussels are ‘filter-feeders’, which means they filter organic matter from the surrounding sea waters. They are very high in iron, protein and omega 3 vitamins. Most mussel recipes caution you to discard any mussels whose shells have not opened after cooking. ‘Murray the Mussel‘ from this little video clip shows you this is a myth!
My recipe for Mussel Saffron Soup has a white wine and chicken stock base, flavored with a bit of curry powder and saffron. Mussel broth can become quite salty, so I use some cream to cut the salty taste. Garnished with some chopped parsley, this makes a quick tasty dish for lunch or dinner!
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
- Olive oil/butter
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 1 leek, white part- chopped
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- Thyme/bay leaf
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 cups dry white wine
- 2 cups fish or chicken stock
- ½ cup thickened cream
- 2 egg yolks
- Saffron threads- a ‘pinch’
- Chopped parsley
- Soften the shallots, garlic, celery and leeks in a little oil and butter on the stovetop.
- Add the tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, curry powder and cayenne powder, white wine and stock. Add the cleaned mussels, place the lid on the saucepan and cook several minutes until the mussel shells open.
- Remove the mussels from the pan. Pass the remaining liquid broth through a strainer.
- Reduce the mussel cooking broth by about 1/3, then add the saffron threads. Combine the egg yolks with the cream in a separate small bowl, then gradually stir the mixture into the broth to thicken. Pass through a fine mesh strainer.
- Remove the meat from the mussels, retaining some in their shells to garnish the soup. To plate, place the mussel meat on the bottom of a serving bowl, cover with the hot broth and garnish with several mussels in their shells. Garnish with some finely chopped parsley.