With garlic, fennel, tomatoes and a bit of orange zest, this soup has a nice Provencal feeling. And with cultivated mussels, which barely need to be cleaned, it's a snap to prepare. If you can't find mussels, try a fairly firm white fish, such as cod, instead--the soup will be different, but equally good.
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- grated zest of 1/2 orange
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 8 1/2-inch slices baguette
- 3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 pound prosciutto or other flavorful ham, chopped
In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, garlic, fennel, celery, bay leaf, orange zest and turmeric. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the broiler. Put the bread slices on a baking sheet and brush both sides with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Broil the bread, turning once, until golden brown, about 4 minutes in all.
Discard any mussels that are broken or do not clamp shut when tapped. Add the water, salt, pepper and mussels to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, just until the mussels open, 3 to 5 minutes.
As the mussels open, remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells. Remove the bay leaf. Stir the cream into the soup and bring just to a simmer. Stir in the mussels and the prosciutto and serve topped with the toasted slices of baguette.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
915 calories; 59g total fat; 175mg cholesterol; 1930mg sodium; 38g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 47g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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