Mussel Soup is the ultimate soup for any seafood fan. Fresh mussels are cooked in a rich tomato based broth, with wine, garlic and fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread and you have a quick and easy meal that is made in 30 minutes.
This is one of the first recipes I published way back in 2014. The recipe still holds up but the pictures didn’t so I have taken new ones along with a step by step video.
My love of shellfish started as a child growing up on the North East coast of England. Mussels, cockles, dressed crab and winkles just to name a few of the fresh seafood my parents used to treat us to every weekend.
I based this soup on the Belgian classic, moules (mussels) provençale. Brussels is one of my favorite cities and I can never get enough mussels when I’m in Brussels (oh look, a little poetry).
If you love cioppino (like me) you may want to check out my recipe for Brodetto di Pesce, a Italian mixed seafood soup.
Mussels are a popular dish in Belgium, served with fries (frites) that was traditionally peasant food. I don’t care, I know that I usually eat my weight of them when we visit.
Spicy mussel soup
To spice up the soup, add a few red pepper flakes to the broth.
How to buy and clean mussels
- If they smell fishy, do not buy them. They should smell briny like the ocean.
- If any of the mussels shells are broken, you must discard them.
- If any of the mussels open, tap it on the counter If it stays open, throw those out because this means it is not alive.
- Cook and eat them the same day you buy them.
- If any of the mussels don’t open after cooking, discard them.
To prepare the mussels, I like to add them a large bowl of water to rinse them and remove anything from the shells. Some may have a little piece of what looks like lint sticking out of the shell, this is the beard (see below). Simply pull on it to remove.
If you’ve made this Mussel Soup or any other recipe, please leave a comment below. I love to hear from my readers!
45 Comments on “Mussel Soup”
Hoi Janette, If you really want to eat mussels, in mussel land, go to Philippine in southwest Holland. Entire city is devoted to mussels. Best ever.
I’d love to, thanks
Solid recipe. If you have it to hand, add a tablespoon of Pernod (pastilles). And get be best Italian puréed tomatoes you can manage.
Thank you for the feedback and tips on the soup. I love the idea of adding Pernod and will give it a try. Happy New Year.
I love sea food, but i made this for my guests and even they were not a big fan of sea food they love this soup and asked for second round and the recipe. Thank you for delicious soup recipe.
Thank you so much for the feedback. Converting non-seafood fans is a very high compliment 🙂
I do not have a history of being a seafood lover. I will have breaded white fish occasionally, shrimp or scallops, but I have typically shied away from mussels and clams or anything with a “fishy” flavour. Your recipe looked like a cross between a zesty fresh soup and comfort food so today I went to our local fish market and bought fresh mussels and clams using your recipe as a guide. The end result was a satisfying shellfish soup with no leftovers! Very easy recipe to follow and easy enough to add extra ingredients. My wife loves this dish and has encouraged me to try similar recipes. Thank you.
Thank you so much for sharing. My husband was exactly the same about fishy shellfish and he loves this soup too.
I made this last night for guests we had and it was so easy and so good. I made it exactly like the recipe and would not change it.
Aww, thank you.
I fell in love with mussels in Belgium and ate them almost everyday. Now I can make my own at home.
This soup looks gorgeous! I never challenged mussel soup at home, but really like to try out. Thanks for sharing the tips about how to pic mussels!
I am sure I love this dish. Mussels are now a favorite of mine!
I can eat this whole bowl and go back for seconds, delicious.
I have zero experience cooking with mussels, but this soup looks so good! Thanks for helping me expand my comfort zone. 🙂
Your soup looks fabulous! I love the colors and love that it’s mussels. I love mussels.
Yum! I love seafood. I used to order seafood portifino at olive garden and then they took it off their menu. I’m still very sad about that. It had mussels in it too. I’ll have to give your yummy soup a try to see if I can curb a craving!
Janette, this Mussel soup looks divine and something my husband and I will LOVE! Beautifully photographed, thanks for sharing
I am utterly addicted to mussels, I eat them almost every day at lunch mixed with squid and tuna and sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil! MMmmmmm! 🙂
This looks amazing, the colors are absolutely gorgeous! Almost too pretty to eat… almost!
I LOVE everything about this soup and wish I had a big bowl for dinner tonight! And the fact that it’s so simple to prepare makes we want to go to the store right now and grab all the ingredients!
I’d love to try making some mussels! Unfortunately hubby is allergic to them, but I’ll just have to wait until he’s out one day! Yours looks fabulous in that beautiful tomato-ey sauce! This is the kind of dish that I’d be VERY impressed by if served them at a dinner party!
I am sure I would love this dish. Mussels are now a favorite of mine!
This looks amazing!! Beautiful pictures!
Simply beautiful, and I have to admit I adore mussels! Great simple to follow recipe
G’day Your mussell soup looks warm and welcoming indeed!Cheers! Joanne
I love mussels and this soup looks amazing! No wonder you couldn’t wait to finish the pictures and enjoy it! Thanks for the wonderful tips when cooking mussels!
Thank you so much Mira 🙂
My oldest son loves mussels…I usually make them with white wine sauce, but this looks delicious! I will definitely be trying this. Pinning!
Thank you for your kinds words Michelle. I will be dropping by tomorrow 🙂
Looking forward to trying this recipe
But please – it’s a myth that you should throw away mussels that don’t open after cooking! It’s not true and a waste of perfectly good, delicious mussels! Michelle it would be great to amend this in the recipe notes and help debunk this.
Love your site by the way!
Thank you for the compliment and you’ve made me realize it’s been too long since I’ve had this soup 😂 I like to err on the side of caution when it comes to shellfish and live by the rule of thumb that if a mussel has no activity (opening and closing of the shell before or after cooking) it is dead and so then it’s not so fresh anymore. I agree it’s a waste of good shellfish and if you’ve ever had a bad one, it’s not pleasant, but if the mussels are really fresh, I’ve been lucky enough to throw none away on occasion. Enjoy the soup 😄
I can’t get enough mussels either. They are tasty and the broth… Oh my! I’m looking forward to trying your recipe.
What an elegant looking bowl of muscles. Just gorgeous.
I love mussels, and that broth sounds fantastic!! What a great soup 🙂
I love everything with mussels, and especially a tomato based soup… Living in Brittany, we have the freshest mussels from Mont Saint Michel at the farmers market. Will have to try your recipe.
Thank you Marie, Brittany is so beautiful. Please let me know how you like the recipe.
I adore mussels and this soup looks heavenly!!
Thank you so much Tara.
I love mussels! What a gorgeous soup!
Thank you so much Serena.
I love mussel soup and yours looks flavorful and delicious!
Thank you so much Elena.
This reminds me of my childhood. Mum and I digging for mussels . Thank you for sparking a lovely memory and for your yummy recipe too xo
Thank you Katherine, I’m glad I was able to spark good memories.