Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 10 mins

A delicious light soup makes a great starter.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • olive oil
  • 800 g mussels (I find mussels very light and with the fact they don't all open I tend to buy a kilo for 4)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, rashers chopped
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves, crushed (depending on your taste)
  • 12 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 12 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fish stock (Concentrated,either powder, cube, paste etc..)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable stock (concentrated, either powder, cube, paste etc..)
  • 300 ml cream (can use light)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 egg yolks


  1. Scrub mussels and remove hairy beards from them. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a fry pan, add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft. In a small pan cook bacon until browned then drain on absorbent paper.
  2. In a large saucepan add enough water that will cover mussels and bring water to boil. Add mussels to pan, cover and cook for a few minutes or until mussels open. drain and discard any mussels that do not open. (I cook mussels in a separate pan so that any sand or grit that has not been washed off does not end up in my soup). Remove shells completely from some of the mussels, remove half the shell from others and leave some complete. This is for presentation and ease of eating.
  3. Wash saucepan and return to medium heat combine wine, lemon juice, water, both stocks, and onion garlic mixture, bring liquid to boil then reduce heat to a simmer, add cream and bacon. Remove pan from heat. In a bowl lightly beat egg yolks and add a few tablespoons of soup mixture to egg and mix, then add to soup, return pan to a low heat add mussels and basil and stir until heated through.
  4. Serve with a mixture of soft cut french loaf and fried french loaf.
  5. For fried.
  6. Cut a french loaf into slices, crush a couple of cloves of garlic and mix with butter. Spread garlic butter on both sides of bread and fry until golden brown on both sides.
Most Helpful

DH really loved this! He was pleasantly surprised that I made mussels other than the usual way. The tip about cooking the mussels in a separate pot was very nice indeed! Purists will want to keep all the flavor of the mussels in the soup's broth, but realists will appreciate that there is enough flavor in the broth already. I did use evaporated milk because that is what I had on hand. I think that will lower the fat content somewhat and it was still terrific. DH added a few drops of Tabasco, just for fun.

threeovens September 12, 2012

A stunning and classic soup which we both enjoyed for lunch today, served with fresh crusty French bread, followed by a cheese course with fresh figs from the garden. I made this exactly as posted - with one minor change, I used chopped fresh curly leaf parsley instead of basil, as I thought the parsley would enhance the flavours of the soup better. Although this serves 4, we ate large bowls of this soup, as it was a main meal, and not a starter. I used Entre Deux Mers for the wine, which is excellent with seafood, and the rest of the bottle we drank with our meal. A very sophisticated flavour, many thanks Flying Chef! Made for the Aussie recipe swap #21. FT:-)

French Tart October 07, 2008