About this recipe:Mussels make a superb soup that looks impressive for entertaining. Reserve the most attractive shells to float on top of the soup as a garnish.
1 cup dry white wine
2 celery stalks with leaves, stalks thinly sliced
1 kg mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
20 g butter
1 small leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled, a few slices reserved to garnish, the rest grated
½ teaspoon curry powder
600 ml fish stock
1 teaspoon tomato paste
heaped ⅓ cup sour cream or crème fraîche
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
Directions Prep:30min › Cook:30min › Ready in:1hr
Pour the wine into a large saucepan. Add the celery leaves and bring to the boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook for 4–5 minutes, shaking the pan regularly, until they open.
Once the mussels have opened, drain them, reserving their cooking liquid. Shuck the mussels, setting aside the meat and reserving a few attractive shells. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a large jug.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the celery stalks, leek, onion and grated carrot, reserving a few thin slices of leek for a garnish. Stir, cover and cook gently for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the curry powder and stir. Pour in the mussels' cooking liquid and fish stock, then stir in the tomato paste. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly, then tip the contents of the pan into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the sour cream or crème fraîche and blend once more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Reheat the soup, add the mussels and heat through gently for 1 minute, taking care not to boil.
Serve sprinkled with a little cayenne pepper and garnish with the reserved leek and the sliced carrot and a few of the mussels returned to their shells.