White Wine Broth with Steamed Mussels and Shallots
Mussels are a healthy and delicious source of protein and you can cook them in by adding wine to the soup broth. Steaming is perhaps the most common way to prepare mussels because this is such a gentle cooking method. It also means you can add whichever ingredients you like to the pot, since the steam will carry the flavor from these ingredients right into the mussels, adding extra flavors to them in a subtle way. This recipe features shallots which are like a cross between garlic and onions. Their delicate, sweet flavor is amazing with the white wine, mussels, garlic, parsley, and other ingredients.
Newcomers to mussels recipes should know a few facts about this seafood before making their first seafood soup recipe. First, only purchase mussels from somewhere you trust, to ensure they are fresh and of good quality. Mussels are inexpensive and even from a gourmet store they will only cost five or six dollars a pound.
Keep them somewhere cool and discard any chipped or cracked ones. Mussels should be alive just before you cook them. Dead ones can cause serious food poisoning. Put them in a bowl of fresh water twenty minutes before cooking them so they will expel any grit or sand. Pull the “beards” off if you want to. Transfer the mussels to another bowl of cold water and get rid of any barnacles or sand, using a firm brush. They are now ready to be steamed.
- 1 ½ lbs mussels
- 2 sliced garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ cup sliced shallots
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Splash of cream (optional)
- 1 peeled, de-seeded, chopped tomato (optional)
- Crusty French bread and lemon wedges, to serve
- Fresh parsley or other herbs, for garnish (optional)
- Prepare the mussels for steaming (see above).
- Melt the butter with the olive oil in a big pot and add the shallots with a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken stock, add wine to the soup broth, tomato, and mussels, and put a lid on the pot.
- Steam them for 10 minutes or until they are all open. Discard any mussels which have not opened.
- Stir in the parsley and some cream, if you like. Taste the mixture and season to taste.
- Serve the mussel soup with some crusty French bread, lemon wedges, and some fresh herbs for garnish.
Cooking mussels is not difficult and, as you can see in the picture, the mussels look delicious in a delicate broth. Mussels are inexpensive, compared to many other kinds of seafood, and steaming them in an inch or so of liquid is a wonderful way to infuse the mussels with flavor and make a nice broth to serve them in at the same time. If you have never bought or cooked mussels before, you are going to have fun with this recipe. The white wine, shallots, and fresh herbs add a gourmet touch and the chicken stock is the perfect base for the broth. Use a good quality stock for the very best results.
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