This recipe is similar to a New England-style chowder, which is often served with oyster crackers, traditionally used to thicken the soup. Use the classic clams instead of mussels if you prefer.
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 1 kg black mussels, beards removed
- ½ large onion, diced
- 90 gm speck, diced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 300 gm celeriac, diced
- 300 gm (about 2) floury potatoes (such as russet Burbanks), diced
- 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
- To serve: crème fraîche, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and small salted crackers (optional)
- 1Bring wine to the boil in a large saucepan over high heat, add mussels, cover with a lid and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until mussels open (3-5 minutes). Remove from pan and, when cool enough to handle, remove mussel meat from shells and set aside. Strain cooking liquor through a fine sieve and reserve.
- 2Sauté onion and speck in oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until onion is tender (5-7 minutes). Add thyme and stir for 1 minute, then add celeriac and potatoes, and stir to combine. Add stock and cooking liquor from mussels, and simmer rapidly until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes).
- 3Add mussels to hot chowder, season to taste and stir to combine. Divide among bowls, top with crème fraîche, parsley and a good grind of pepper and serve with crackers.