foodblogevent January, Dutch mussel soup

 picture: smoking trout at Pure Market Amsterdam

Last week I attended the Amsterdam Food History Symposium organized by my alma mater the University of Amsterdam. Instantly I got the idea for my contribution for the #foodblogevent January,  hosted by Ellen Bannink from LA. She is a Dutch foodie and blogs on The idea was to internationalize a Dutch recipe. Many Dutch  American recipes, as a scholar said in her speech, are legacy form the Dutch immigrants in the USA. The first Dutch settlers in New York cooked their original food with the ingredients they found in their new homeland.  Even the Vanderbilts wrote down traditional Dutch dishes. My recipe comes from the province of Zeeland.  Here it is:  Dutch mussel soup with smoked eel. I wrote this recipe last year for my friend chef Robin White firom Sonoma. To pair with a great white Rhône wine, made from grenache and ugni blanc.


4 lbs/ 2kg mussels
1 bottle of brown ale
1 big leek
2 celery sticks
1 big carrot
1 cube of fish stock
1 cup of  thick cream
2 tbs butter
salt and black pepper
dash of nutmeg
chopped parsley
2 filets of smoked rainbow trout
(or if available 4 smoked eels)
3 cups water
Clean the mussels under cold water. Throw away the open (that do not close when you tap on them) and damaged ones. In a big soup pan you bring the ale to a boil. Add the mussels and cook them for 6 minutes
Get the mussels out of the pan and get them out of their shells. Leave 12 mussels apart for later garnishing. Strain the cooking juices through a sieve and put in another pan Add the thinly sliced carrot, leek and celery. Add 3 cups of water an bring to a boil. Crumbe and dissolve the stock cube. Let the soup simmer for about 5 minutes. At the end you add the cream, the mussel meat and some butter. Season the soup and give it a dash of nutmeg. Serve on 4 soup plates with some pieces of the smoked trout/ eel and mussels in their shell. top the soup with some  finely chopped parsley. Serve the soup with a firm farmer’s bread and salty butter.


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