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Mussel Soup with Curry

Mussel Soup with Curry

by Chef Michael Salmon

serves 6-8

1 stalk lemon grass

1 1/2 cups dry white wine

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 Tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger

2 Tablespoons canola oil

1 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

2 cans unsweetened coconut milk (14 ounces each)

1 fresh jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon sambal oelek (hot chili paste)

3 pounds of cleaned fresh Mussels

2 plum tomatoes, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice

kosher salt

3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

cilantro sprigs for garnish

  1. Slice the lemon grass thinly and place in a small saucepan with the white wine. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes to infuse the lemon flavor into the wine. Strain and reserve the wine, discarding the lemon grass.
  2. Place the infused white wine in a large stockpot and bring it to a boil. Add the cleaned mussels and steam, covered, for about 8 minutes, or until the mussels open.
  3. Cool the mussels and pick the meat from the shells. Strain off the liquid and reserve.
  4. In a large (4- or 5-quart) saucepan, cook the onion, garlic, and ginger in the canola oil over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened.
  5. Add the reserved decanted mussel cooking liquid, orange and lime juice, curry powder, thyme, bay leaf, coconut milk, jalapeno pepper and sambal oelek. Simmer uncovered about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced slightly.
  6. Add the mussels and diced tomatoes and cook, covered, over high heat for 3 minutes.
  7. Season the soup with salt and add the chopped cilantro. Divide the soup between the bowls.  Garnish with cilantro sprigs.