From Gourmet March 2007. According to the recipe description, "This soup was inspired by a meal at the Copenhagen microbrewery Nørrebro Bryghus."
- 1 1⁄2 lbs leeks, quartered lengthwise, then sliced crosswise (3 medium, white and pale green parts only)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme (3-inch)
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle lager beer
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 3 lbs mussels, scrubbed well and beards removed if attached (preferably cultivated)
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon coarsely ground white pepper
- 1 (8 ounce) firm-ripe avocados
- 18 very small grape tomatoes, halved (1/4 pound)
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
- Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, agitating them, then lift out leeks and pat dry.
- Cook leeks in butter in a wide 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in beer and water, then increase heat to moderately high and bring to a boil. Add mussels and return liquid to a boil, partially covered. Cook, completely covered, stirring occasionally, just until mussels open wide, checking frequently after 4 minutes and transferring to a large bowl. (Discard any mussels that remain unopened after 8 minutes.).
- Working over a bowl, remove mussels from shells and put in bowl (discard shells along with any clinging leeks). Pour any cooking liquid accumulated in bowl back into pot.
- Pour cooking liquid through a sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth or dampened paper towels into a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in half-and-half, salt, and white pepper, then heat over moderately low heat until hot (do not let boil). Stir in mussels and heat until just warmed through.
- Meanwhile, halve avocado, then peel 1 half (wrap remaining half tightly in plastic wrap and reserve for another use). Cut into 1/2-inch cubes, then toss gently with tomatoes and dill in a bowl.
- Divide soup among 6 shallow bowls and spoon some avocado mixture into each. Serve immediately.
- It should be noted that the soup, without half and half, can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled (with shelled mussels in soup), covered. Remove mussels and reheat soup over moderately low heat before adding half-and-half and then proceeding with recipe.