Mussels Soup of Etretat
A delicious mussels soup that is usually served from October to February when the water of Etretat is at its coldest and the mussels have their best flavors.
- 2 pounds fresh mussels
- 2 cups white wine, dry
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
- 1 bunnch parsley, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, peeled
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 medium leeks, white part only
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 medium carrot, sliced
- 4 cups fish stock
- 1/3 cup vermicelli
- Wash the mussels very well and remove the beards if any. Steam in a pot, with the wine, on high heat to open the mussels and cover with a lid. Cook the mussels for about 6 to 8 minutes, depending on their sizes.
- When the mussels have opened, strain in a colander and reserve the cooking juice. Remove mussels from the shell and reserve in a cooler.
- In a pot, melt the butter and sweat the leeks, garlic, onions, carrots, and parsley on low heat. Cook the vegetables until slightly golden for about 10 minutes.
- Add chopped and seeded tomatoes, mussel stock, fish stock, curry, pepper and bring to a boil.
- Add vermicelli and simmer for 10 more minutes, then add mussels. Serve with grated cheese on the side.
Etretat is a very picturesque town surrounded by high cliffs and full of very old building and many restaurants. The natural beauty of the coast has inspired numerous artists. Claude Monet had a special affection for Etretat. He did many paintings here, notably A View from the Harbour (1883) and the extraordinary Aiguille, View from the Top of the Cliff (1885). Writers were equally numerous such as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Jean Lorrain, Guy de Maupassant - to name just a few!