Chunky Fish Soup w Green-Lipped Mussels

When I lived in London, green lipped mussels were expensive, so an absolute treat. Now I live here, they’re as cheap as chips and I just can’t get enough of them.  This soup is my personal homage to this emerald jewel of the ocean.  Although simple, it’s quite hefty on the ingredients, but all are necessary.  Think about making a batch to cook and freeze.

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook time: 50 min

Serves: 8


3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 onions, chopped
30g fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded & chopped
large pinch of salt

drizzle of olive oil
8 rashers streaky bacon, sliced
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
200ml fish (or chicken) stock – hot
20 green-lipped mussels, cleaned & beards removed
20g butter
drizzle of olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
large sprig of fresh thyme
1 carrot, sliced
2 small potatoes, peeled & diced
800ml fish (or chicken) stock – hot
400g tin tomatoes
250g pumpkin, peeled, skinned & diced
100g smoked fish, diced
200g white fish filets, diced
200g fresh prawns
zest and juice of 1 lemon
handful of fresh parsley leaves


PASTE : pop all ingredients in mortar and pestle and pound to a paste or use a hand blender and blitz to a smooth paste. Set aside.

SOUP : heat the oil in a frying pan, fry the bacon until crispy, add the spring onions and cook for a further 2 mins.

Add the first measure of chicken stock, bring to a boil and tumble in the mussels.  Cover and cook for 2 – 5 minutes (give the pan a good shake) or until the mussels open (discard any that haven’t opened).

Remove mussels from the pan, remove from their shells and snip off any remaining beards. Set both the cooking liquid and mussel meat aside.

Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan, when bubbling, add the SOUP PASTE and cook over a medium heat, stirring all the time, until it has changed colour, fragrant and sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Add the onions, thyme and carrot, cook for 5 minutes then add the potatoes, cooking for a further 2 minutes.

Add the stock and tomatoes, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 7 – 8 minutes.  Add the pumpkin.

Once the vegetables are cooked, add the fish.  Cook for 2 minutes, then finish with the prawns and reserved mussels and reserved liquid – cook for another 2 minutes then add the lime juice.

SERVE : with an extra bowl for the prawn tails and take your time to enjoy every single spoonful. A fresh, crusty baguette is a must.

JAX SAYS : think about making a batch to eat and one to freeze.