Mussel Chowder
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Mussel Chowder

Recipe By : Ugne Wennersten
Serving Size : 6         Preparation Time 0:00
Categories : Main Dish Seafood

Amount, Measure, Ingredient -- Preparation Method

3 pounds             Mussels -- scrubbed and de-beard
1 cup                    Dry white wine
2 tablespoons     Butter
1 large                  Leek -- rinsed and minced
1 medium           Celery ribs -- minced
2 1/2 cups          Fish stock or clam juice
1 teaspoon          Dried thyme leaves
1                           Bay leaf
12                         Black peppercorns
12                         Parsley stems
1 teaspoon          Saffron
1 tablespoon       Cornstarch
1 cup                    Heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon      Salt
1/4 teaspoon      Pepper

In a non-reactive (good quality) soup pot, combine mussels and wine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, and cook until mussels have opened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove mussels from shells, reserving 6 large mussels and 6 half-shells for garnish. Discard any mussels that don't open. Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a large bowl.

In same soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add leek and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add fish stock, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley, saffron, remaining cooked mussels, and reserved mussel liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.

In a food processor or blender, puree soup in batches until smooth and return to soup pot. Bring to a boil. In a small bowl, blend cornstarch with cream and stir into soup. Add salt and pepper and simmer, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Strain soup through a sieve into a large saucepan and simmer over medium heat until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Divide soup among 6 soup plates and garnish each serving with a mussel on the half-shell.

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