Spiced mussel soup

Spiced mussel soup

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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

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James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4