Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mussels, Chorizo & Leek Soup

Mussels, Chorizo & Leek Soup
Adapted from Food & WIne, March, 2008

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves 2

½ cup dry white wine
1 tbsp shallots, finely minced
3-4 lb/1-1½ kg mussels, scrubbed & debearded
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 oz/141g dry chorizo, finely diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 medium leeks, trimmed down to white & pale green parts only; thoroughly cleaned and finely sliced
1 small onion, finely diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large plum tomato, finely diced
¼ tsp saffron threads, crumbled
3 cups low-sodium fish stock, clam juice (or as I did it…chicken broth)
½ cup heavy cream (I used 2% evaporated milk instead)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

1. Have all your ingredients ready.

2. Bring the wine and shallots to a boil in a large heavy bottomed pot (I used a Dutch oven). Add the cleaned mussels, cover and cook over high heat until they open (about 5 minutes). Discard any closed shells. Strain the cooking liquid into a large bowl and reserve. Remove the mussels from their shells, reserving some unshelled for garnish, if desired. (It does look pretty!)

3. Clean out any sediment from the same pot and return to stove. Heat the olive oil and add the chorizo, carrots, leeks and onion. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened (about 8-10 minutes). Add the garlic, tomatoes and saffron and cook over moderate heat until fragrant (4-5 minutes). Add the fish stock and reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, covered over low heat for 30 minutes.

4. Add the cream (or evaporated milk) and simmer over moderately high heat for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mussels and thyme and simmer just until the mussels are heated through (about 1-2 minutes).

5. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with mussels in their shells and serve.

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