I don’t know if I mentioned this here, but I recently purchased a gigantic Italian cookbook from a used book sale at a nearby ski mountain. The organization that was selling it was a local library. The price was four dollars and since the book weighed about ten pounds, I decided to grab it while I could. Since I bought it, it’s been sitting on my shelf with all my other cookbooks. By the way, my cookbook collection is getting rather large.
Anyway, the point of this short story is that, after looking the book up on Amazon.com, I found that it’s currently selling for $62! Can you believe that? I think we can all agree that I got a great deal. The best part is, the book is chock full of incredible recipes, with today’s being one of them. Take a look at this monster. I finally pulled it out and it’s in full use. Three of this week’s recipes will come from this book alone, which are going to be so much fun to write about. Italian food is my favorite.
Today’s recipe is a simple one. It combines steamed mussels with vegetable soup. Because the mussels add a distinct flavor, the soup will taste slightly differently than what you’re used to. It will taste as though it’s from the sea, but let me assure you that that’s a good thing. If you love mussels and you love vegetable soup, you’ll love what I’m about to show you below. And if you think you’d like the soup without the mussels, I don’t see any reason you couldn’t make just that.
4 Pounds Mussels
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Sweet Onion, Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Cup White Wine
3 1/2 Cups Fish Stock
1 28-Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
3 Carrots, Sliced
3 Celery Stalks, Sliced
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons Parsley, Chopped
I’d like to thank Carlo Bernasconi and Christian Teubner for this recipe. I pulled it from their resource called The Complete Italian Cookbook. From what I’ve seen thus far, this book truly is the complete resource.
Cook the Mussels
Warm a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the olive oil, garlic and onions and let these ingredients soften for about three minutes. Then, add in the white wine and the cleaned mussels and cover the pot. Allow the mussels to steam for seven to eight minutes, until they have opened up. Throw away any that haven’t opened.
When the mussels are finished cooking, turn off the heat and, using a slotted spoon, transfer both the mussels and onion mixture to a bowl and set aside. Strain the liquid from this pot into another large pot. This step is merely to filter out and sediment that may have come from the mussels. If you have a good eye, you can simply pour the liquid from the one pot into the other, making sure to leave the sand behind.
Cook the Vegetables
Warm this new large pot over medium-high heat. Add the fish stock, tomatoes, carrots and celery to the white wine liquid and bring to a boil. Let these vegetables cook for ten minutes.
When the vegetables have softened, remove the meat from half the mussels and place it in the liquid with everything else. Also add in the salt and pepper. Discard those empty shells.
Plate & Serve
Divide the soup between bowls. Then, divide the remaining mussels and onions between bowls as well. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over everything. Please don’t forget to do this like I obviously did. Parsley is a nice touch. Then, serve and enjoy!
The Final Mussel & Vegetable Soup
Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? It’s easier to put together than it seems. The taste is great as well and overall, it’s a satisfying dish. If you decide to give this soup a try, please let me know your thoughts in the comment area below. Thanks for reading!