Creamy mussel soup is a classic South African dish. Black mussels, which are widely available in our oceans, can be found across the country to enjoy almost any time of the year. Enjoy it served in individual beer pot breads, making it even more authentically local.

Ingredients

 

Individual pot breads

500g self-raising flour

1 can of beer

Pinch of salt

 

Creamy mussel soup

3 parsley sprigs

2 thyme sprigs

20g butter

1 leek, finely chopped

1 celery rib, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper

1½ cups dry white wine

300g mussels, fresh or frozen

150ml crème fraiche

½ pack white onion soup

 

Method

  1. Start with the bread so that it is ready by the time the soup is done. Mix all the ingredients for the bread. Divide into four small cast-iron pots. Bake on the fire for 40 minutes or until done. (Pack your coals around the put and not directly beneath it, and place three to five coals on the lid.)
  2. Finely chop the herbs and vegetables. Fry together in butter in a large casserole. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened.
  3. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half.
  4. Add the mussels, cover and cook, shaking the casserole occasionally until the mussels are wide open – about 4 to 6 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels and vegetables to a large bowl. Remove the mussels from their shells and add them to the vegetables. Strain the mussel broth.
  6. Return the broth to the casserole. Stir in the crème fraiche and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Stir in the white onion soup until dissolved and thickened.
  7. Stir in the mussel and vegetable mixture and season with more salt and pepper.
  8. Serve the soup in individual pot breads. Cut off the tops and hollow out bread. Serve top cut-offs to dip in the soup. – Ursula Human, Farm fare

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