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Recipe: Mussel and Fennel Soup


Published on

This is a variation on a Belgian classic using fresh fennel and crushed fennel seeds instead of leeks and celery.

paleo mussel recipe
Looking for a great Paleo mussel recipe? Here it is!

Type of dish: Soups, Entree
Equipment: Large stainless steel pot with lid
Servings: Serves 2


The Soup:

  • 2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and sorted
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups fish stock (court bouillon – see recipe below)
  • 2/3 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 large Florence fennel (Finocchio), thinly sliced; reserve sprigs for garnish
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • Salt/white pepper to taste

The Court Bouillon:

  • 2 – 3 lbs fish bones, preferably from white fleshed fish (cod, flounder, etc. are ideal). Avoid using oily fish such as salmon
  • 1 whole, peeled onion, studded with 3 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped, or a hand-full of celery leaves (optional)
  • 2 TB apple cider vinegar
  • 5 qts water
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • Note: don’t add salt


The Soup:

  1. Scrub mussel shells clean and remove the “beard”, discarding any mussels that won’t close when squeezed.
  2. Add mussels, white wine, fish stock, fennel seeds, and garlic to the pot, cover, and bring to a gentle boil for 5 min.
  3. Strain off the liquid, and discard any mussels that aren’t open.
  4. Bring liquid to a slow boil, add fennel, and crème fraîche, and simmer until the fennel is soft, about 15 min.
  5. Add salt/white pepper to taste, return mussels to liquid, and warm through.
  6. Serve in soup bowls garnished with fennel sprigs.

The Court Bouillon:

  1. Place all ingredients in the stock pot, and add water to cover.
  2. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 45 min.
  3. If desired, the stock can be left to simmer uncovered, reducing the liquid, and concentrating the flavors. This is the reason why salt isn’t added.
  4. Strain through sieve.
  5. The stock can then be portioned and frozen for future use.


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Chris Kresser in kitchen
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  1. My husband and I love love LOVE mussels – so I just had to check this post out. I will definitely be making this on our next seafood night. Thanks for sharing 🙂