Mussel Soup with Avocado, Tomato and Dill

Mussel Soup with Avocado, Tomato and Dill
6 servings




lb(s) fresh cultured blue mussels
1 ½
lb(s) leeks (3 medium; white and pale green parts only), quartered lengthwise, then sliced crosswise
Tbsp unsalted butter
sprig fresh thyme (3 inches long)
1 12
oz bottle of lager
1 ½
cup water
cup half-and-half
tsp salt
tsp white pepper, coarsely ground
avocado, firm and ripe
very small grape or pear tomatoes (¼ pound), halved
Tbsp fresh dill, coarsely chopped


Step 1

Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, agitating them, then lift out leeks and pat dry.

Step 2

Cook leeks in butter in a wide 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in beer and water, then increase heat to moderately high and bring to a boil. Add mussels and return liquid to a boil, partially covered. Cook, completely covered, stirring occasionally, just until mussels open wide, checking frequently after 4 minutes and transferring to a large bowl. (Discard any mussels that remain unopened after 8 minutes.)

Step 3

Working over a bowl, remove mussels from shells and put in bowl (discard shells along with any clinging leeks). Pour any cooking liquid accumulated in bowl back into pot.

Step 4

Pour cooking liquid through a sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth or dampened paper towels into a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in half-and-half, salt, and white pepper, then heat over moderately low heat until hot (do not let boil). Stir in mussels and heat until just warmed through.

Step 5

Meanwhile, halve avocado, then peel 1 half (wrap remaining half tightly in plastic wrap and reserve for another use). Cut into 1/2-inch cubes, then toss gently with tomatoes and dill in a bowl.

Step 6

Divide soup among 6 shallow bowls and spoon some avocado mixture into each. Serve immediately.

Step 7

Note: Soup, without half-and-half, can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled (with shelled mussels in soup), covered. Remove mussels and reheat soup over moderately low heat before adding half-and-half and then proceeding with recipe.

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