Mussel and saffron soup

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 pounds Mussels
1¼ cup Dry white wine
1½ cup Water
3 tablespoons Butter
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 \N Onion, finely chopped
1 \N Garlic clove, crushed
1 \N Leek, trimmed, fine shredded
½ teaspoon Fenugreek, finely crushed
1½ tablespoon All-purpose flour
2 packs Saffron strands, soaked in
1 tablespoon Boiling water
1¼ cup Chicken stock
1 tablespoon Chopped fresh parsley
\N \N Salt to taste
\N \N Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Whipping cream
\N \N Fresh parsley sprigs (opt)

Scrub mussels clean in several changes of fresh water and pull off beards. Discard any mussels that are cracked or do not close tightly when tapped. Put mussels into a saucepan with wine and water. Cover and cook over high heat, shaking pan frequently, 6-7 minutes or until shells open. Remove mussels, discarding any which remain closed.

Strain liquid through a fine sieve and reserve.

Heat butter and oil in a saucepan. Add onion, garlic, leek and fenugreek and cook gently 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.

Add saffron mixture, 2-½ cups of reserved cooking liquid and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, keep 8 mussels in shells and remove remaining mussels from shells. Add all mussels to soup and stir in chopped parsley, salt, pepper and cream. Heat through 2-3 minutes. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired, and serve hot.

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