less than 30 mins
10 to 30 mins
A warming soup for a cold day, this easy blend of mussels, fennel and cream is served with toasted garlicky bread.
Clean the mussels by thoroughly scrubbing them under plenty of running water, pulling away and discarding the 'beards', the seaweed-like stringy threads. Discard any broken mussels, and any mussels that don't close tightly when you tap them.
Place the mussels in a saucepan, add the white wine and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Drain, reserving the cooking liquor, and pick the mussels from their shells. Set aside the liquor and the mussels, but discard the shells.
Heat a large frying pan and add the oil. Add the finely chopped shallot, garlic and fennel and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the saffron, aniseed liqueur, stock, three-quarters of the mussel meat, finish with the cream
Cook for a further 3-4 minutes until warmed through, then blend with a stick blender until smooth.
Heat a large griddle pan and drizzle the sliced bread with oil and rub with the halved clove of garlic. Toast the bread on the griddle for 2-3 minutes.