Smoked mussel and oyster soup, seaweed and stout toast

Photo: Daniel Mahon

Serves 4


750g live mussels, de-bearded and washed
12 live oysters, shucked and juice reserved
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, outside peeled, sliced
1 fennel bulb, outside removed and diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
100ml white wine
300ml fish stock
100ml double cream
2 tsp chopped tarragon
2 tsp chopped chervil
2 tsp chopped chives
2 tsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
250g white bread flour
250ml granary bread flour
30g fresh yeast
15g sea salt
30g unsalted butter
200ml Guinness
100ml water
2tbsp dried sea lettuce
2tbsp dried dulse


Place all the bread ingredients except the salt into a mixing bowl. Place the bowl onto a mixer and mix until a dough forms then time it for 6 minutes on a high speed. After 6 minutes, add the salt and mix for 2 more minutes. Take the dough and transfer it to a floured bowl. Cover the dough with a damp/wet cloth and leave in a warm place to prove for 30 minutes. When the dough has proved, knock it back carefully and shape into the desired shape. Cover once again with the wet cloth and when the dough has doubled in size it will be ready to cook. Heat the oven to 240C. Remove the wet cloth and flour the bread. Place it onto a lightly greased baking tray then into the oven and cook for 15 minutes until golden brown. To test the bread, using a cloth lift up the bread and tap the underside. If it sounds hollow then it is ready. Cool the bread on a cooling rack until ready to serve.

Heat your smoker and get the smoke going. Lay the mussels
on a tray and smoke them until they all open up. Remove them from the smoker, pick out the meat and retain the juice. Do the same for the oysters but only the oyster meat for 4 minutes. Place all the mussels and the oysters together and chill. Place the cream into a metal or glass bowl that fits inside the smoker then turn off the heat and place the cream inside. Leave the cream in there for 20 minutes.

Heat a large pan and add a drizzle of oil. When the oil is hot add the onion, garlic, celery and fennel. Sweat the vegetables for 2 minutes with no colour and then add the fish stock, retained mussel juice and potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are just cooked. Season with salt and pepper then add the cream, mussels and oysters and cook for 1 minute. Warm 4 bowls, slice your bread and toast it. When you are ready to serve add the herbs. Taste to check seasoning and then divide equally between 4 bowls.

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