Butter Soup with Shellfish and Honey Emulsion

Colin Lynch

Bar Mezzana, Boston

More of a seafood-packed stew than a soup, this rich dish of crab, mussels, clams, and lobster served in small portions is the perfect way to kick off a dinner party.


  • 1 small white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, peeled and chopped
  • 8 parsley stems
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 cups plus 1/4 cup water
  • 20 mussels, rinsed
  • 20 littleneck clams, rinsed
  • One 1-pound lobster, cooked
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cubed
  • 1/2 pound cooked crabmeat
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives


Divide the onions, carrots, celery, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, wine, and 2 cups of the water between two separate large pots. Bring both pots to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the clams to one pot and the mussels to the other. Cover both pots and steam just until the shells have opened. (This will take 4 to 5 minutes for the mussels and 6 to 8 minutes for the clams.) Remove the shellfish from the pots. Once cool enough to handle, remove the meat and discard the shells, as well as any unopened clams and mussels.

Remove the tail and claws from the lobster body. Chop the lobster meat into bite-sized pieces. Discard the shells.

In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 1/4 cup of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Whisk in the butter until emulsified, adding a few pieces at a time. Once all of the butter is incorporated, add the cooked mussels, clams, lobster meat, and crab meat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the soup warm over low heat, making sure to not let it boil.

To make the honey emulsion, heat the honey and water in a medium saucepan. When close to boiling, use a handheld immersion blender to froth the mixture. While blending, add the egg yolk.

To serve, spoon the soup into small serving bowls. Top with a dollop of honey-emulsion foam. Garnish with chives.


Twelve 1/4-cup servings