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 Mussel Soup with Saffron Recipe-4478

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Cozze allo Zafferano

Mussels pack such an intense flavor that they make their own stock as they cook. Add saffron, the king of spices, to the mix and all you need is water and wine for a deeply satisfying light lunch or heartwarming winter starter.

Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 pounds mussels, preferably prince edward island, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs italian parsley
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1. In a small cup, dissolve the saffron in 1/4 cup of the wine.

2. In a 10-to 12-inch sauté pan, combine the mussels, onion, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, pepper, the remaining ¾ cup wine, the water, saffron mixture, and olive oil and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until all the mussels have opened. Remove from the heat and, using tongs, transfer the mussels to a bowl. Reserve the cooking liquid.

3. Once the mussels are cool enough to handle, place the mussels in the shell in another bowl and then in the refrigerator to chill, reserving the juices from the bowl.

4. Strain the mussel juices and the cooking liquid into another pan, bring to a boil over high heat, and reduce by two thirds.

5. Divide the mussels among eight serving bowls, drizzle the broth over, and serve.

© 2005 Mario Batali

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

157kcal (8%)
327mg (14%)
6g (9%)
1g (5%)
32mg (11%)
56mcg RAE (2%)
11mg (18%)
37mg (4%)
5mg (26%)

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