Stage 5, Le Cap D'Agde - Perpignan: Gabriel Gaté presents Taste Le Tour from the winery of French winemaker, Dominique Portet, who tells us about the wine of Languedoc-Roussillon. French chef, Philippe Mouchel, prepares a very tasty mussel soup - soupe de moules au saffran.
1 kg large very fresh mussels, well washed
2 shallots, finely sliced
½ onion, finely sliced
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
a few parsley stalks
2 pieces of fresh orange rind
1 cup dry white wine
3 diced tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed
1 tbsp corn flour mixed with 2 tbsp water
½ cup cream
1 good pinch of saffron
about 30 g butter, cut into cubes
freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp finely cut chives
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place cleaned mussels in a large pot and add the shallots and onion. Tie the thyme, bay leaf, parsley stalks and orange peel together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Add the wine and cover with a lid. Place on the stove on high heat, bring to the boil and cook for a few minutes until the mussels have just opened.
Lift the mussels from the liquid into a bowl and remove the herbs and onions. Taste the liquid and if it is too salty, add a bit of water. Add the diced tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, remove the mussels from the shells and put aside.
Whisk the corn flour mixed with the water into the simmering liquid. Bring to the boil, then add the cream and cook for a few minutes. Then add a good pinch of saffron. Blend the soup until smooth.
Mix in a few knobs of butter and check the seasoning. It’s great when it’s a bit peppery.
Place a few warm mussels in soup plates and pour a little of the mussel soup over them. Sprinkle with finely cut chives and serve.