Mussel soup with mussel fritters and pickled fennel

Preparation time
overnight

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Serves
Serves 4

By Matt Tebbutt

For the pickled fennel

  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 500ml/18fl oz cider vinegar
  • 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
  • 1 bunch flatleaf parsley, leaves and stalks separated
  • salt

For the mussel soup

  • 1kg/2lb 4oz mussels, cleaned, beards removed
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 250ml/9fl oz white wine
  • 50ml/2fl oz vermouth
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream

For the mussel fritters

  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp mussel meat, from above, roughly chopped
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp gram flour
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
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