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. 

Mussel Soup in a white bowl served with grilled bread

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.

A closeup showing the mussels in their shells garnished with parsley

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.

A bowl of mussel soup with crusty bread

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.

Mussels showing the beard that needs to be removed

If you’ve made this Mussel Soup or any other recipe, please leave a comment below. I love to hear from my readers!

Yield: 4

Mussel Soup

A large bowl of mussels in tomato broth with grilled bread

A rich tomato based broth, with wine, garlic and vegetables.  Serve with crusty bread and you have a quick and easy meal that is  made in 30 minutes.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 16 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup (110 grams) yellow onion, chopped
  • ¾ cups (73 grams) carrot, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup (56 grams) celery, chopped
  • ½ cup (53 grams) fresh fennel, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 ½ cups (354 ml) dry white wine (any that you would drink)
  • 3 cups (708 ml) unsalted or low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups (472 ml) passata/pureed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 40 mussels (about 1 ½ pounds/706 grams)  fresh mussels,  scrubbed with beards removed * see notes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped


  1. In a large soup pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, fennel and salt. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables start to soften, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced slightly. Add the stock, passata and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, then stir in mussels. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes until all mussels are open. Discard any that stay closed.
  3. Remove the bay leaf. Taste and add salt if necessary.
  4. Serve garnished with chopped parsley and crusty bread.


* 10 mussels per person (weight may vary depending on the size)
* The beard looks like lint coming out from the mussel. Not all mussels will have them. Pull until they are removed.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 343Saturated Fat 1gCholesterol 32mgSodium 664mgCarbohydrates 15gProtein 14g