Mussel, fennel and saffron broth


  • 30g/1oz butter
  • 1 small leek, finely diced
  • 1 bulb fennel, finely sliced
  • 200g/7oz chestnut mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • pinch curry powder
  • pinch saffron strands
  • sprigs of thyme
  • 250ml/9fl oz white wine
  • 590g/1lb 5oz fresh mussels, cleaned and beards removed
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream
  • small bunch parsley, snipped and finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

  1. In a large pan, melt the butter and add the leek, fennel and mushrooms (if using) the shallots, curry powder, saffron and thyme. Cover the pan and gently sweat the vegetables for about 5 minutes, or until soft but not coloured.

  2. Add the wine and bring to the boil, then add the mussels. Cover and cook, shaking occasionally until all the mussels are open. Discard any which remain closed.

  3. Strain and return the liquor to the pan. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes to reduce before adding the cream and parsley.

  4. Bring back to the boil, return the mussels to the pan, allow to heat for a minute or so and serve immediately with crusty bread.

James Martin recipes from Housecall

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 2

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