On Saturday morning, after a wickedly fun Kettlebell Circuit Class, we visited the Charlottetown Farmers Market. We picked up a leg of lamb for our christmas meal and, as we wandered, came across lovely samples of cultivated chowder mussels.  With tidily fluted edges, these mussels were compact, meaty and extremely tasty, and we needed to buy a few pounds.

I thought a sunday soup would make perfect use of these bivalves, and after some searching settled on this simple but rich and elegant velouté joinville.

Ingredients

  • 16 mussels
  • 4c fish broth (I was lacking and so concocted clam juice and vegetable stock which worked very well)
  • 4tbsp creamery butter
  • 1/2lb shrimp
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4c mini portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4c leek (white part only), thinly sliced
  • 3tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1c cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • fresh parsley for garnish

Method

Place mussels in a large saucepan with 1/2c fish broth. Cover. Bring to a boil and allow mussels to steam about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels which have not opened during cooking.

Remove the shells from the pan, dig out those tasty mussels, set aside.  Strain the liquid in the pan and add to the rest of the fish broth.

In large saucepan melt 2 tbsp butter, add shrimp and cook about 2 minutes, until orange-pink. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside with the mussels.

Add mushroom and leeks to the pan. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and hold in reserve with mussels and shrimp.

Melt remaining 2tbsp butter in saucepan. Stir in flour to form a roux and cook while stirring for about 2 minutes, until it turns golden brown.

Add the fish broth to the roux and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking to prevent lumping.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Combine egg yolk and cream. Add to broth, stirring vigorously. Simmer an additional 3 minutes.  Do not allow it to boil.

Add the reserved shrimp, mussels, mushrooms and leek. Stir in the lemon juice and add white pepper to taste.

Serve immediately.

Simple to make but velvety rich and complex in taste. Beautiful textures. A great soup for lovers.

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