For people who care about their food

Moules Marinieres

A plateful of moules marinièresMussels are in season in Britain now (September to April) so they should be cheap and plentiful. The classic French dish of moules marinières is quick and easy to prepare. First, of course, you need to know how to prepare mussels. You can read my article about how to prepare mussels here:
Mussels – a shut and open case

This soup is lovely served with crusty bread and a glass of crisp white wine – a good Sauvignon blanc would be my choice.


(Serves 4)

  • 2kg (4½lb) live mussels, scrubbed clean
  • 25g (1oz) butter)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 150ml (½ pint) dry white wine
  • 150 ml stock (preferably fish stock but you can use chicken or vegetable if you don’t have it)
  • 3 tablespoons of double cream (or a generous pouring of whipping cream) Confused about cream?
  • a handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper, and salt, if wanted


Sweat off the onion and garlic, then add the wine and bring to the boil.



Add the mussels. Cover the pan and leave for a few minutes until the mussels open. (Discard any that don’t open.)

Take the mussels out of the pan and set aside. Leave the juices in the pan.

Add the stock to the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat.

Add the cream and parsley and check the seasoning.

Put the mussels into a serving dish and ladle some of the soup over them. Serve hot.

By the way, if you have more mussels than you need for your soup, you can make a delicious snack of crumbed mussels.

3 Responses to “Moules Marinieres”

  1. Luxury Travel

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… one of my favourites (much to my wife’s horror!!)

    I have converted our two boys, aged 5 and 3. They adore them too, which I think is quite unusual for little ones. It might have something to do with them thinking that ‘mussels’ (think ‘muscles’) make you strong… 🙂

  2. Not Delia

    I have to admit I’m not a great fan of mussels. I dunno, is it a cultural thing? I didn’t grow up eating beasties like that. I try hard to get over my foodie inhibitions and eat lots of things that might seem to be revolting to me. I’m still working on oysters. Bleuurgh! But I’m getting there. 🙂

  3. Mr Not Delia

    I was sort of put off shellfish at the age of nine by a friend who liked cockles in vinegar. They looked disgusting to me, and so I didn’t get round to actually eating any kind of shellfish until my final year at university. Pasta with mussels in a creamy sauce, as it happened – and I forced myself to try them. I discovered that they actually tasted quite nice.

    I’m still not mad keen on the texture, though. 😕

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