|Bowl by David Walters|
You do need a nice chicken or fish stock for this recipe. If you don't have any stock, or can't be bothered to make one from scratch, use some of the mussels you've bought to make a quickie stock: half an an hour before you make the soup, put 10 mussels (don't bother to thaw them) in a saucepan. Add half an onion, roughly sliced, a stalk of celery, a carrot snapped into thirds, a bay leaf, a few peppercorns and a sprig of parsley. Cover with two cups of water and half a cup of white wine, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain into a clean jug, and discard the mussel shells, flesh and flavourings. Set aside.
You can use any mild curry powder in this soup, provided that you buy it spanking fresh. The chilli is entirely optional.
Lightly Curried Mussel Soup with Fresh Coriander
2 Tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and very finely chopped
6 curry leaves, fresh or dried
3 white cardamom pods, cracked
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped [optional]
2 tsp (10 ml) cumin
2 tsp (10 ml) medium-strength curry powder
1 tsp (5 ml) turmeric
3 Tbsp (45 ml) flour
½ cup (125 ml) white wine
1 cup (250 ml) chicken or fish stock (see note, above)
2 cups (500 ml) water
1 cup (250 ml) low-fat coconut milk
1 kg frozen mussels in their shells, or fresh mussels
salt and milled black pepper
the juice of a lemon
a handful of chopped fresh coriander
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, curry leaves and cardamom. Cook over a brisk heat until the onions are golden brown. Drain off any excess oil. Stir in the garlic, chilli, cumin, curry powder and turmeric, and cook for a minute.
Now stir in the flour and cook for another minute. Add the wine and the stock, whisking well to prevent lumps forming. Stir in the water and coconut milk and simmer gently for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Now tip all the frozen mussels into the soup, and bring gently up to the boil. Simmer for another minute or two, then turn off the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir in the lemon juice and serve immediately, topped with fresh coriander.
Serves 4 Print Friendly