Mussel and Black Pepper Soup
  • 1 1/2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • fresh ground black pepper, lots of it
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup clam juice (1 jar)
  • 6 cups water
  1. Wash and de-beard the mussels, and let soak in salted water for an hour or so to make them purge their sand.
  2. Place a large pot on the range over moderately high heat, and heat the olive oil. Saute onions and garlic for several minutes until wilted. Add wine, tomatoes, ground black pepper and chili pepper. Add mussels, cover the pot and steam until the mussels open, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine water and clam juice in pot, and heat over high heat to boiling. Turn heat down to low to keep hot.Remove mussels from pot; divide between 4 bowls. Add parsley to the pot and stir to mix in.
  4. Divide the remaining vegetables and broth between the bowls. Add a ladle full of the hot water/clam broth to each bowl to complete the soup. Serve immediately.
This is my version of a Mussel soup I had at a famous Italian seafood restaurant in Miami. It's one of my favorite ways to eat mussels, and makes an impressive soup for a dinner party.