To cook the mussels
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 shallots (finely sliced)
- 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 500g mussels
- 1 bay leaf
- 50 ml white wine
For the soup
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 lemongrass (finely sliced)
- 25g ginger (sliced)
- 1 green chilli (de-seeded and chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons of light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of coriander leaves (chopped)
- grated zest and juice of a lemon
- 700 ml fish stock
- 12 asparagus tips
- 50g fresh peas
- 1 tablespoon of chives (cut into 1 inch lengths)
- Clean the mussels in several changes of water and remove any beards and barnacles. Throw away any that are open and which don’t close when tapped with a knife. Thier already dead and you don’t want to eat them.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan and gently cook the shallots and garlic on a moderate heat for 3/4 minutes. Add your clean mussels to the pan before turning up the heat and pouring in the white wine.
- Throw in the bay leaf and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. Give the pan a good shake and steam your mussels for about 3 minutes or until the mussels begin to open.
- When the mussels are cooked drain off the cooking liquor and reserve it for later. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened and when their cool enough to handle, remove them from the shell and set aside.
- Heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan and cook the lemongrass, ginger, chilli and garlic together for about 5 minutes
- Add the sugar and coriander leaves and cook the soup for a further 2 minutes before adding the lemon zest and juice, followed by the reserved mussel stock.
- Pour in the fish stock and bring the soup to the boil, season with a little sea salt and cook the coup for a further 10 minutes.
- Strain the soup discarding the herbs and spices.
- Bring the soup to the boil and add the asparagus tips. Cook them in the soup for 2 minutes. Then add the peas and allow them to cook for about a minute before finally adding the mussels and chives.
- Divide the soup into 4 bowls and drizzle a little olive oil over the top of each soup.
Alternative fish – Prawns or Shrimp