All it takes is a little Mussel
“Mussels”…because I’m moving and all day today. HAR HAR HAR. But yes I am moving out of my old apartment. Don’t actually have a new place to live yet so I’m moving my stuff into a PODS container. Ya know, those big storage containers that you can fill up and send off to be kept in a warehouse until you need it. I need to do this because funny thing, my parents don’t have room for an entire apartment of furniture in their house. Who knew?? So yes still living with them for now. I probably will until June so I can save some money because living in San Francisco is expensive. In the meantime I’m sure I’ll have to cook for these people. Gosh I can’t just live at home free of charge? I have to DO THINGS for you guys? Fine….
My favorite soup for a family dinner is this recipe from “The New England Soup Factory Cookbook” and with Christmas coming up and extended family invading homes, I wanted to share this recipe. It can go more formal if you really want and serve it with your Christmas Dinner but I think it’s a lot more fun for a different night of the week when you can encourage people to use their hands.
It’s not a 30 minute meal, but it does cook up fairly quickly. There is a lot of prep work with soaking and scrubbing the mussels so overall this takes about an hour. It will depend on the mussels you get because you’ll basically simmer the soup until all (or most) of them have opened up and not much longer past that moment. Nothing worse than overcooked shellfish.
The flavor in this soup is phenomenal. I’m a huge fan of seafood, especially shellfish (bad jewish girl I know) and i think that’s largely because I was born and lived in Maine for the first 5 ½ years of my life. It may be s(h)ellfish on my part but I just can’t keep Kosher if it means giving up my fried clams.
Of course the best part about this soup is that you can use the mussel shells themselves to scoop up the broth and slurp it loudly Japanese style. My mom hates that. Actually I usually do too, but for this soup you just can’t help wanting to enjoy it as obnoxiously as possible to rub it in to others around you how damn good dinner is.
Curried Mussel Bisque
from the New England Soup Factory Cookbook
- 36 fresh mussels
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 large Spanish/Sweet onion, peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 16 ounces stewed tomatoes (usually 1 can)
- 6 cups fish stock (if you don’t have fish stock, clam juice works in a pinch)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 ½ tsp yellow curry powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (I used two or three but I love heat)
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Fill the sink or a clean bowl with ice water. Soak the mussels for 20 minutes to remove grit from the shells. Drain the water after the 20 minutes and then scrub down the shells to remove the beards.
Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, ginger, onion, celery and carrots. Saute for 10 minutes. Add the mussels to the pot and stir to coat with the vegetables and oil. Add the tomatoes, stock, wine, curry, coriander and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot and simmer until all of the mussel shells have opened. add the cilantro, brown sugar, salt and pepper and stir gently. Be sure to taste and adjust seasonings at this point as needed. Once you are satisfied with the flavor serve immediately.