Garlic soup with musselsGarlic soup with mussels

The Wednesday Chef has done it again, providing her many, faithful readers with the recipe for Daniel Young’s garlic soup with mussels, a recipe that produced the tastiest mussels I’ve ever eaten.

I’ve grown to adore mussels, but I’m tiring of regular old moules marinières, although I love how easy and foolproof it is. Daniel Young’s recipe takes a solid forty-five minutes to make, which is long for mussels, but after a weekend in a rustic cabin in the Catskills, it was just what our aching bodies were calling out for. It’s the kind of thing I wish I could eat at the top of a mountain I’ve just climbed. The recipe is for four—we ate it all ourselves. I can’t wait to double it for company.

Today not being a work day, I resorted to getting bread from Whole Foods. I think their baguettes are hilariously bad, so I opted for a 99¢ ciabatta, which was less than inspiring but tolerable at the bottom of soup. My only other alteration to this fabulous recipe was the addition of salt; I sprinkled on some sea salt on the table, giving each bite a fleck of intense saltiness. Don’t skip out on the red wine vinegar—these garlicky mussels benefit from the subtle tang.


This is definitely on my list of recipes to try, in part because it’s so different from the usual mussel recipe of mussels in some sort of broth with aromatics. This one looks much more substantial — more of a meal, less of a soup.

The mussels look superb; I wish I had a reliable fish store nearby; but as far as I know I have to go all the way down to the Strip District to find good fish unless I want to pay WF inflated prices. Lindy, do you have one you go to?

Speaking of WF, I’m thinking they must use local bakers for a lot of their breads, because here they re-sell breads from the Mediterra bakery under their own label (although a few are still labeled “Mediterra”). They also sell a lot of breads that Mediterra doesn’t make, so I don’t know if they make them here or use other bakers. Anyway, they recently began selling a whole grain baguette that we like pretty well; do they have that in your store?

Leland – I’m so glad you liked this as much as I did! It’s definitely one of my favorites. Did you get your mussels at Garden of Eden? Because they have a pretty good assortment of baguettes to choose from: Balthazar, Tom Cat, Amy’s and even, I think, their own.

I got the mussels from FreshDirect. I do want to try Citarella and Garden of Eden, but we were out of town this weekend and I knew I’d want delivery on Sunday.

Mom: I think you’re right, because there is no way you’d like the WF baguettes on sale here. I haven’t seen the whole-grain baguette yet.

This recipe is so fun to assemble once the various components are finished. Toasty bread topped with wet, soft mussels topped with cheese and then drowned in garlicky, yolky soup.

What, no sherry?

The sherry is for Nathan’s chicken tomorrow night! Don’t worry—I’ve been drinking sherry like the sherry queen I am becoming.

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