Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

Colombard Wine, French Bread

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Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

In another life, not that long ago actually, I remember one evening when we (my husband and I) took some American guests who were staying at our  B and B in France to a local vineyard for a nocturnal “dégustation”. The vineyard in question was Domaine Gardrat, it was (and still is) our favourite source of good Charentais wine as well as Pineau des Charente. I say it was in another life, as I try to distance myself from the Karen that went on that particular bender tasting session, as she was not that well-behaved! Picture the scene; it was a very hot summer’s day in SW France – I had been up at the crack of dawn serving breakfast to the guests, and then there was the cleaning of the rooms, laundry, shopping and prep for the evening meal. Malcolm and I got on very well with these particular guests and we had promised them a special wine tasting excursion one evening. And so it was that we drove to Domaine Gardrat one evening for a wee tasting session.  The tasting room was a small hut, from where Mr Gardrat emerged having dismounted from his tractor around the back, still in his “les bleus”. Excitement mounted as he sat four wine glasses on the counter and uncorked the first wine………my favourite, the Rosae.

Gardrat Rosae

Domaine Gardrat Rosae

I won’t go into all the details, they aren’t pretty, but suffice to say that I over imbibed, and Mr Gardrat realising he had a real lush connoisseur of his wine in his presence, plied me with more and more…….and, for those of you out there who have seen the “wine tasting sketch” in Absolutely Fabulous, then all I can tell you is that this was a very similar cameo of over indulgence. I don’t think I was QUITE as bad as Eddie and Patsy, but there are photos of me sporting a “wine”moustache somewhere, whilst wine dribbled down my chin……….Malcolm “poured” me and our equally inebriated guests into the car and drove us home, where I somehow “threw” together a meal for all of us, I cannot remember what it was now, and yes, we DID buy several cases of wine! Anyway, enough of that, the reason I mention that particular (shameful) incident, is that today I uncorked a bottle of Domaine Gardrat’s fabulous Colombard wine to accompany our Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder for lunch…..and the memories, such as they are, flooded back!

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

This luscious chowder style soup is part of the Healthy Happy Heart’s challenge that I am currently undertaking with Fish is the Dish. You can read more about it here: Healthy Happy Hearts: Low-Calorie Spicy Mexican Fish Wraps Recipe and here: Seductive Salmon! Salmon, Sorrel & Cream Cheese Parcels (Recipe)As part of this challenge, I am required to eat fish or seafood at least twice a week, which isn’t that hard for me, and this is recipe number three in week two. I was sent a hamper of fish a week or so ago to help me with this six-week challenge and there were a big bag of mussels as part of my fishy haul! Mussels freeze very well, and so today I decided to defrost them to make this creamy, unctuous soup for lunch. The inspiration for this soup came from my love of that American classic, New England Clam Chowder; when I lived in the US many years ago, I had the pleasure of eating genuine clam chowder on many occasions, as I lived near the Eastern Seaboard –  I also attended “clam bakes” too, a fabulous way to eat fresh seafood. This recipe is also very similar to the Scottish classic, Cullen Skink, only mussels replace the smoked haddock. Whatever the name, this soup was perfect for a cold spring day, and I served it with the aforementioned glass of wine (as a pre-weekend treat ) and some crusty bread.

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

Wine is NOT compulsory when eating this recipe, but after a rough few weeks we (Malcolm and I) decided that we were “worth it”, and after all, it is the weekend! If you have clams available, then do add them to this soup – I also like to add sweetcorn to chowder style soups when I make them. I hope that the snow and rain will not affect your Palm Sunday weekend, stay warm and see you later with a new bread and Hot Cross Bun recipe…….bye for now, Karen

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Allergy Fish, Milk
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Snack, Soup, Starter
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentines day
Region American
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
A delicious version of the the classic clam chowder, where fresh Scottish mussels are cooked alongside onion and parsley for a creamy and hearty "chowder" style soup. Serve this soup with crispy bread and dry white wine for a elegant and yet comforting lunch. Frozen mussels can be used, just adjust the cooking time to suit.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 250g potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • 300ml dry white wine (or fish stock)
  • 1kg fresh Scottish mussels, cleaned
  • 450ml skimmed milk
  • 4 tablespoons light crème fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • large bunch of fresh parsley, chopped (save some for the garnish)
  • salt and white pepper

Note

A delicious version of the the classic clam chowder, where fresh Scottish mussels are cooked alongside onion and parsley for a creamy and hearty "chowder" style soup. Serve this soup with crispy bread and dry white wine for a elegant and yet comforting lunch. Frozen mussels can be used, just adjust the cooking time to suit.

Directions

Step 1 Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onions and potatoes for 5 minutes, until they are slightly soft. Add the wine and the mussels, bring it all to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 2 Using a slotted spoon, remove the mussels from the pan and take them out of their shells. Keep a few in their shells for a garnish if you wish, and discard any mussels that remain unopened.
Step 3 Return the mussels to the pan with the milk and crème fraîche, then bring to the boil, before turning down to a gently simmer.
Step 4 Mix the cornflour with a little milk or water to make a thin paste and then whisk the paste into the pan. Keep stirring until the chowder thickens slightly. Add the chopped parsley and cook for a further minute before adjusting the seasoning with salt and white pepper.
Step 5 Serve with fresh parsley as a garnish and crusty bread.
Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

healthyhappyhearts

Other Healthy Happy Heart Recipes: 

Belleau Kitchen: lemon and horseradish tuna burgers

Pebble Soup: Thon en Cocotte

Farmersgirl Kitchen: Seafood Risotto for a Healthy Happy Heart

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

Colombard Wine, French Bread and Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder Recipe

 I am entering this into my own challenge, Herbs on Saturday, which is being hosted by London Busy Body this month, as it has a Parsley in it!
 
herbsonsaturday
I am also entering this into Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Monday’s event, as this soup was made from scratch and with love!
JWsMadeWLuvMondays

Comments

  1. says

    Loved the story, Karen! And this chowder looks and sounds fantastic. And wine with bread would be exactly what I’d want to pair with this :) Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. says

    Oh yum – this looks so delicious Karen! You’ve said you defrosted the mussels but then in the recipe mentioned to adjust the cooking time if using frozen mussels – does that mean you can use the mussels without defrosting first? If so, how long for cooking, as never used them from frozen before?
    By the way – loved your story – well done you for still producing dinner in that state! Vohn x

    • says

      Sorry Vohn, I didn’t make that clear; frozen mussels are usually cooked, so you only need to heat them up for a few minuets and you must ALWAYS defrost them beforehand! I hope that helps – you can find bags of cooked mussels in the freezer compartments in most supermarkets and if you buy them fresh, you can freeze them cooked or uncooked and in their shells.

      • says

        Thanks Karen. I have only ever bought mussels fresh in their shells from my fishmonger. I really don’t know why I thought preshelled, precooked frozen ones from the supermarket were icky! It makes no sense when I’ll happily buy pre shelled, pre cooked prawns. I am a weirdo! Vohn x

  3. says

    Oh darling I love this! And if I’m perfectly honest it really doesn’t take a huge leap if imagination to picture you in the scene you describe. Fun times darling!!love your soup. I do adore a good fish chowder and this looks like one of the best!

  4. says

    As I sit here in the cold and stare out at the snow falling, how I wish for a bowl of this lovely thick, wholesome chowder to cheer me up. Loved the story of your ‘wine tasting’ and don’t worry we’ve all done something similar – haven’t we??

  5. says

    I love the story, Karen! We all deserve a few memorable evenings…. and all the better if you can re-live them each time you have a bottle of the cases you purchased!

  6. Eleanor Wigmore says

    Really looks lovely, comforting and tasty. Think I might have to do this over the Easter weekend!

  7. Sally (recipe junkie) says

    Lol! I love your story of misbehaving at the wine tasting! I’m also salivating at the thought of that chowder. I love mussels anyway. Didn’t know you could freeze them,

  8. Mark Whittaker says

    I finally got round to making this on Wednesday , it was absolutely delicious , it was perfect for a slightly indulgent lunch, filling yet light enough for the afternoon not to be totally unproductive . Thank you x

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