Spiced mussel soup

A light, creamy seafood soup flavoured with fennel, garlic and a touch of curry powder.


  • 2kg/4lb 8oz fresh mussels in shells, cleaned and beards removed
  • 300ml/10½fl oz white wine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp curry powder
  • 300ml/10½fl oz fish stock
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 carrot, peeled and very finely chopped
  • ½ fennel bulb, very finely chopped
  • ¼ leek, very finely chopped
  • 200g/7oz girolle mushrooms
For the griddled toast
  • 1 white baguette, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
To garnish
  • 2 tbsp coriander cress
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Preparation method

  1. For the spiced mussel soup, if any mussels are opened, tap them lightly on a hard surface. If they don’t close, discard them.

  2. Put the mussels in a saucepan, add the white wine and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquor, and discard any closed mussels.

  3. Pick most of mussels from their shells, keeping some in their shells for the garnish. Discard the shells.

  4. Heat a large frying pan and add the oil. Add the shallot, garlic, fennel and curry powder and cook for 3-4 minutes.

  5. Add the stock, three-quarters of the mussels and the cream.

  6. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes, until warmed through, then blend with a stick blender until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice, to taste.

  7. Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Once hot, add the carrot, fennel and leek and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further two minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, for the griddled toast, heat a large griddle pan until hot. Drizzle the sliced bread with oil. Toast the bread on the griddle for 2-3 minutes.

  9. To serve, pile the cooked carrot, fennel, leeks and mushrooms in the centre of shallow serving bowls and ladle the blended soup around the edge.

  10. Garnish with a swirls of olive oil, coriander cress and the reserved mussels. Place the griddled toast on the side.

Required techniques

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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