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Mussel and Chrizo Soup
© John Kernick

Mussel and Chorizo Soup

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 15 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 8
  • MAKE-AHEAD

At Steve Corry's Five Fifty-Five in Portland, Maine, mussels from nearby Bangs Island are almost always on the menu. "People freak out if they're not there," says Corry, who often steams the mollusks in white wine and lemon juice scented with pickled cherry peppers and garlic. For this Mediterranean-inspired soup, however, Corry serves the mussels in a brothy liquid with plenty of chorizo.

  1. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  2. 1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
  3. 3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  4. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 5 ounces dry chorizo, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
  6. 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  7. 2 medium leeks, white and tender greens parts only, finely diced
  8. 1 small onion, finely diced
  9. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  10. 1 large plum tomato, finely diced
  11. 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  12. 3 cups low-sodium fish stock, clam juice or chicken broth
  13. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  14. Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  15. 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  1. In a large, heavy pot, bring the wine with the shallots to a boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook over high heat until they open, about 5 minutes. Strain the cooking liquid into a large bowl and reserve. Remove the mussels from their shells, reserving some unshelled for garnish, if desired.
  2. In the large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chorizo, carrots, leeks and onion; cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Spoon off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat. Add the garlic, diced tomato and saffron and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the fish stock and reserved mussel cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Simmer the soup over low heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the cream to the soup and simmer over moderately high heat for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mussels and the thyme and simmer just until the mussels are heated through, about 1 minute. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the mussel shells and serve hot.
Make Ahead The shelled and unshelled mussels and the chorizo soup can be refrigerated separately overnight. Serve With Grilled country bread.