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20 minute dinner recipes

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Orange & Saffron-Scented Mussel Soup


From EatingWell:  November/December 1993

Orange juice, saffron and white wine combine in a heady broth for this mussel soup. It can be made in advance and gently reheated just before serving.

8 servings, a generous 1 cup each | Active Time: 45 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes



  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a simmer over high heat. Cut an “x” in the bottom of each tomato. Plunge the tomatoes into the simmering water. When the skins split, remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed and dice the tomatoes. Set aside.
  2. Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until light golden, about 30 seconds. Add leeks, carrots and onions; sauté until very soft, about 15 minutes. Add wine, bay leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, pepper and water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in mussels, increase heat to medium-high and return to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook for five minutes, shaking the pan several times to distribute the mussels. Transfer all the opened mussels with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Continue to cook any unopened mussels for two more minutes. Remove the remaining mussels, discarding any that do not open.
  4. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells, working over a bowl to collect their juices. Pull off and discard the dark rubbery rims; set the mussels aside. Strain the accumulated juices and the cooking liquid through a cheesecloth-lined sieve set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract all the liquid. Return the liquid to the pot and add orange juice, parsley, orange zest, saffron and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Add the reserved tomatoes and mussels and heat gently, not allowing the soup to boil.


Per serving : 255 Calories; 7 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 27 mg Cholesterol; 23 g Carbohydrates; 11 g Protein; 3 g Fiber; 250 mg Sodium; 691 mg Potassium

1 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 1/2 vegetable, 2 very lean meat, 1 fat

Tips & Notes