Soupe aux Moules Jaune (Mussel Soup with Saffron and Leeks)

Kevin Meekar

Cuvée Notre Dame - Philadelphia

What could be more Belgian than a mussel soup? Kevin Meeker and Michel Notredame of Cuvée Notredame served this fragrant bisque at a Belgian Beer Fest event. Use a good fumet or fish stock and you can’t go wrong.


  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon saffron threads
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 pounds farm-raised Maine mussels, alive and debearded
  • 2 cups julienne leeks, fried
  • 4 tablespoons chopped chervil
  • 2 cups tomato concassé
  • 4 cups fish fumet or fish stock
  • Salt and white pepper to taste


In a 2- or 3-quart sauce pot, scald the cream with the saffron. Be careful not to leave the pot unwatched, as hot cream, after it has scalded, has a tendency to overflow. Lower the heat to a simmer, and reduce the cream by half.

Meanwhile, heat a 12-inch pan over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to the pan to cover the bottom. Add the shallots and cook until translucent. Add the garlic, and cook just until the aroma becomes apparent. Adjust the heat to avoid browning the garlic. Add the mussels, and cover until they open and are cooked, about 6 to 8 minutes. When they are done, uncover, and strain, reserving the mussel juice. Remove the mussel meat and set aside. In a 2- or 3-quart stockpot, mix the fumet and mussel juice, bring to a boil, and cook at a simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Incorporate the cream into the mussel broth. Simmer until the desired soup consistency is achieved. Salt and pepper to taste.

When ready to serve, place the garnishes (tomato concassé, julienned leeks, mussel meat, and chervil) in the individual bowls, and fill with the hot bisque.


8 servings