Quebecois Mussel Chowder

Diana Henry's hearty chowder captures the flavour of autumn with the help of apple-rich cider
By Diana Henry
Quebecois Mussel Chowder
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 kg mussels, cleaned and beards removed
  • 500 ml dry cider
  • 30 g butter
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
  • 400 g waxy potatoes, peeled, cut into 4cm chunks
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 400 g white fish such as cod, skin removed, cut into 4cm chunks
  • squeeze of lemons
  • chopped flat leaf parsley, to serve

Tips and Suggestions

before adding the cider to the vegetables, taste to check it is not too salty. If it is, just use half of it and top up with water.


1. Put mussels in a large pan, pour over the cider and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until all the mussels have opened (discard any that don't open). Set aside to cool.

2. Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the leeks and potatoes. Cover and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until they are tender. If they begin to catch add a little water to the pan.

3. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove from the cider and take 2/3 of them out of their shells.

4. Add the cider (strain if necessary) to the vegetables. Stir in the cream and cod which will gently poach as the liquid comes to a simmer.

5. Add the mussels to the soup, season with salt and pepper and add a good squeeze of lemon. Scatter the chowder with parsley and serve with some crusty bread.

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