Mussels in a fennel-scented broth recipe

  • Serves 6
  • 10 mins to prepare and 26 mins to cook
  • 410 calories / serving
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TWC 17 Recipe 1 Mussels hero

Scrub and debeard the mussels, discarding any that are cracked. Tap any open mussels on a work surface; if they don't close, discard. Refrigerate the mussels until ready to use.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat. Add the bacon, leek, fennel, carrot and celeriac and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a further minute. Increase the heat to high, add the stock and Akvavit and bring to the boil. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add the mussels to the pan, cover, and cook over high heat for about 5-6 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Discard any mussels that do not open. Add half the reserved fennel fronds and season, to taste. Spoon the mussels and broth into deep bowls and garnish with the remaining fennel fronds. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and some crusty or rye bread, if desired, for mopping up the juices. And don't forget the shots of Akvavit!

Recipe from Snowflakes And Schnapps, by Jane Lawson, publish by Murdoch Books, £25.  


  • Ingredients

  • 2kg (4lb) mussels
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 2 streaky bacon slices, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely sliced
  • ½ fennel bulb, finely diced, plus feathery fennel fronds chopped and reserved for garnish
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 200g (7oz) celeriac, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½tsp ground cumin
  • ½tsp caraway seeds
  • ½tsp ground fennel
  • 125g (4oz) crème fraîche
  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) home-made or good-quality fish stock
  • 50ml (2floz) Akvavit (Scandinavian spirit) or aniseed-flavoured spirit
  • Energy 1705kj 410kcal 20%
  • Fat 19g 27%
  • Saturates 9g 45%
  • Sugars 3g 3%
  • Salt 4.1g 68%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 12.1g Protein 43.3g Fibre 3.1g


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