Smoked mussel and oyster soup with seaweed and stout toast

Smoked mussel and oyster soup with seaweed and stout toast

Fish Kitchen
David Loftus

Ok, so I am lucky that I live by the sea and have some of the best mussels and oysters growing in the nearby Camel Estuary, but you should be able to get hold of some of these wonderful bivalves with a bit of searching around. Oysters and mussels seem to be at their best in winter and a big bowl of this soup with a chunk of my seaweed and stout bread is just the thing for a cold day.


Quantity Ingredient
750g live mussels
12 live oysters
100ml double cream
olive oil, for cooking
1 white onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stick, de-stringed and sliced
1 fennel bulb, outer layer removed, diced
100ml white wine
300ml Fish stock
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons tarragon, chopped
2 teaspoons chervil, chopped
2 teaspoons chives, chopped
2 teaspoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
oak chips, for smoking

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
Seaweed and stout bread
or good-quality rustic bread


  1. Wash the mussels and pull away the hairy beard attached to one end of the shell. Discard any that are open and refuse to close when sharply tapped, and any with damaged shells. Open the oysters and strain off their juice through a muslin-lined sieve into a bowl.
  2. Set up your smoker with the oak chips for hot smoking and heat up to get it smoking.
  3. Lay the mussels on the wire rack in your smoker with the drip-tray underneath to catch the juices. Smoke the mussels for about 8 minutes until they all open up. Take them out of the smoker and pick out the meat from the shells; discard any that remain closed. Tip the saved juices into a bowl.
  4. Lay the shucked oysters on the rack and smoke for 4 minutes. Put the mussels and oysters together on a plate, cover and chill.
  5. Meanwhile, pour the cream into a heatproof bowl that fits inside the smoker. Place in the smoker, then turn off the heat and leave the cream inside for 20 minutes.
  6. Heat a large saucepan and add a drizzle of olive oil. When it is hot, add the onion, garlic, celery and fennel and sweat for 2 minutes without colouring. Pour in the wine, fish stock and retained mussel and oyster juices, then add the potato. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the potato is just cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. When you are ready to serve, slice and toast your bread. Add the mussels and smoked cream to the soup and simmer for 1 minute, then add the oysters and chopped herbs and remove from the heat. Taste to check the seasoning.
  8. Ladle the soup equally into 4 warm bowls and serve with the hot toast.
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