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Mussel Bisque


3/4 cup (175 mL) low-sodium chicken broth
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 lb (1 kg) mussels (yields 1 cup/250 mL cooked mussel meat)
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
2 tsp (10 mL) minced green onion
1 cup (250 mL) reserved cooking broth
1 cup (250 mL) milk
1 cup (250 mL) 10% cream 
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
2 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4    tsp (1 mL) pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


In a small stockpot, simmer chicken broth, celery and onion until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Bring broth to a boil and add mussels. Cover and steam until mussels have fully opened, about 7-10 minutes.

Remove mussels from pot with a slotted spoon. Remove mussel meat from the shells. Strain cooking broth through a fine mesh strainer or through three layers of cheesecloth and reserve 1 cup (250 mL). If necessary, add a bit of water or chicken broth to make a full cup.

Place butter and green onion in the top of a double boiler over boiling water.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and onion is soft. Add the mussels, the reserved broth, milk, cream and lemon juice. Heat just until hot (do not boil).

Add a little bit of this hot soup mixture to the beaten egg yolks and whisk until combined; this will keep the eggs from clumping when you add them to the warm soup. Slowly stir this yolk mixture into the bisque.

Heat again just until hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish each serving with chopped parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Mussel Bisque

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