Golden mussel chowder

Golden mussel chowder

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper


Quantity Ingredient
1kg black mussels
1 onion, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon Golden spice mix
30ml olive oil
200ml white wine
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 small leeks
200ml cream, (35% fat)
1 Preserved lemons and limes, washed and diced finely, rind only
10 saffron threads, roasted and crushed
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced small
freshly ground black pepper
4 small bacon rashers
soft brown sugar
thin rounds small leek, crisply fried, to garnish


  1. Scrub the mussels clean and pull off the beards. Discard any mussels that refuse To close after a sharp tap.
  2. In a heavy-based saucepan, sauté the onion, celery, garlic and golden spice mix in the oil for about a minute, then add the wine and the mussels. Cover, turn the heat up high and steam for 3 minutes. Turn the mussels well, replace the lid and steam for a further 2 minutes, or until the mussels have opened.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to steam for a further minute before taking off the lid and straining the liquor through a fine sieve to catch any dirt. Reserve the liquor. Throw any unopened mussels back into the pot and steam for another minute or two. Discard any that stubbornly refuse to open. Allow the mussels to cool and then remove them from their shells and cut in half.
  4. Steam the potatoes and whole leeks for 10–15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a few minutes. Split the leeks in half lengthwise then cut them into 1 cm slices.
  5. Return the mussel liquor to the pot, add the cream and bring to the boil. Add the potatoes, leeks and preserved lemon, then the saffron and thyme. Heat thoroughly. Add the diced tomatoes and mussels and warm through briefly. Season with pepper.
  6. Sprinkle the bacon rashers liberally with soft brown sugar and grill until golden brown. Shred and sprinkle on the soup. Garnish with crisp fried leeks.
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