This is one of my favourite soups. And mussels are a good source of iron, so it is good to feed them to children.
- about 750 gr mussels (don't worry too much about the precise quality)
- 300 ml white wine ( I also do this some times with 'manzanilla', a light Spanish sherry, which is wonderful to cook with and goes really well with sea food and also with pork)
- an onion (chopped finely)
- one leek (chopped finely)
- a clove of garlic (grated)
- three tablespoons of olive oil
- 250 ml water.
- a pinch of saffron
- 150 ml double cream
- a pinch of parsley
Clean well the mussels (discard any that are open and do not close after tapping them before you cook them, and also any that remain closed after you cook them). While you are cleaning the mussels, fry the onions and leek in the olive oil over slow heat so that they get soft but not golden (15 to 20 minutes). If you worry that they might burn just add a tablespoon of water.
Put the mussels in a separate pan, add the white wine and let the muscles cook over high heat until they all open up. Take the mussels off their shells. Reserve the wine (it is a good idea to get it through a colander in case there was any sand in the mussels)
Go back to the pan with the onions. Add the mussels and parsley. Dissolve the saffron into the white wine. Add it all to the onions and mussels and add also also the water. Let it all bubble up for 5-8 minutes.
As you take it off the heat, add the cream and blitz it all with a hand held mixer.
Serve it immediately. I sometimes reserve some of the mussels, chop them and add them to the soup for texture. You can also serve this with a slice of grilled crusty bread and alioli. Or just serve it like that with bread - it is delicious so it does not need anything else.