About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Clam and Pea Soup | Main | Squid and Artichoke Soup »

Mussel Soup

Mussel Soup is my last recipe for the soup section. I’ve had this dish many times before but did not know it was considered a soup. This is also the first time I’ve had it prepared without wine. In the Midwest, finding fresh mussels can be a challenge. Fortunately for me local grocers had them in abundance in time for this recipe.

Garlic is sautéed in oil then simmered with parsley, chili pepper and tomatoes for a while before adding the mussels. They are cooked just until the shells have opened. The soup is served ladled over a slice of garlic rubbed toasted bread. The bread soaks up the juices and becomes a delicious accompaniment.

Mussel Soup

©2010 Irene D. Ericson

Comments (4)

I love this soup!

Yum Irene, it looks fantastic!

Marcella Hazan:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with cooking mussels with wine, but it is French in style rather than Italian. We prefer the more tender acidity of tomatoes to that of wine, and it is an instance where the meaty, sweet imported canned San Marzano tomatoes may even be a safer choice than fresh tomatoes. My Neapolitan friends always use the canned.

In studying your photo Irene, I was surprised to see nearly no juice in the dish. There should be a lot. Where did it go, into the bread? Were you generous enough with olive oil? It does look very tasty, however.

Irene responds:

Thank you for explaining the difference. My bread slice was too big. It soaked up all the broth like a sponge.

I forgot to tell you that you had to invite ME to dinner yesterday!

Irene, I love mussels, but I am SO glad I got the clams with the wine, and you got the mussels with tomatoes, as I am NOT a tomato fan!
Yours look luscious even with tomatoes!

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