Go to Lee's Recipes Soupe aux Moules from Brittany

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Soupe aux Moules

A favorite soup of the coastal region of Brittany, Soupe aux Moules, has many home variations. This recipe will give you a basic outline for making your own rendition. Serve with a chilled Muscadet Sur Lie, a classic accompaniment from the Loire region to mussel soups and most shellfish dishes.

Ingredients

2 pounds mussels
1 cup white wine
5 cups water
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 shallots, well chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 leek, trimmed, white part only, thinly sliced
A handful of fresh sorrel or spinach leaves
3 lettuce leaves
1 sprig of fresh parsley
1 sprig of fresh chervil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
Fried bread croutons

Preparation

  1. Scrub the mussels clean under cold running water and trim away the beards. Discard any mussels which are open or have cracked shells. In a large skillet, combine the white wine and 1 cup of the water and bring to a boil. Add the mussels and cover, cooking until the shells open, about 5 minutes. I reduce the heat a bit so the lid of the skillet does not boil off. Once the mussels have opened, remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve to remove any sand or grit and reserve. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the shells and set aside.
  2. In a stockpot, combine the remaining water and strained mussel broth along with the potatoes, shallots, garlic, leek, sorrel, lettuce leaves, sprigs of parsley and chervil and tomato paste. Season to taste with freshly ground salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, partially covered, until vegetables are tender. Transfer the soup to a blender in batches and puree until smooth.
  3. Return soup to the stockpot and warm through on low heat. Add the mussels and adjust seasoning to taste. Swirl in the butter to add a silky smoothness to the soup. Garnish with croutons.

Alternative: For a touch of sophistication, add 2 ounces of Roquefort cheese before pureeing the soup.

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Source: "Soupe aux Moules" from Brittany posted at Beyond the Ladle
at http://www.beyondtheladle.com/home/france/mussel-soup-of-brittany accessed May 14, 2012