GP recipe Tim's tasty mussel soup

We were at our friends Tim and Jenny's for dinner the other day and Tim had collected some wild mussels off the rocks at low tide at Torrisdale and served them in this delicious soup as a starter.

The soup was so good that I asked for the recipe and, a few days later, set off to collect some of the mussels for myself.

Don't worry if you can't collect any yourself, this is equally good with mussels from your fishmonger.

  1. Sweat the shallots and celery in the butter until translucent. Add the cayenne pepper and curry powder, then the mussels.
  2. Stir the shallots and celery until completely coated then add the fish stock and white wine. Cover the pan and boil for a few minutes until the mussels have opened.
  3. Discard any unopened mussels then remove the flesh from all the mussels that have opened and reserve.
  4. Strain the cooking liquor into a fresh saucepan, add the saffron and reduce by half. Add the cream and reduce further, until a coating consistency.
  5. Return the mussels to the soup, warm through and divide between four warmed soup bowls.
  6. Serve at once accompanied with slices of crusty baguette and a well-chilled Muscadet.

Dr Chris Duckham is a GP in Tongue and Armadale, Sutherland and runs Restaurant Cote du Nord, Farr Bay Inn, Sutherland. Email comments to


For four people

Two shallots, peeled and chopped.

One stick of celery, diced.

30g unsalted butter.

Half a teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Half a teaspoon curry powder.

1kg mussels in the shell.

300ml fish stock.

300ml dry white wine.

One good pinch of saffron.

200ml double cream.

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