Smoked Mussels Bisque with Fennel & Potatoes


- 2 Strips Bacon

- 1 Tbsp Butter

- 1 Medium Onion, finely diced

- 4 Celery Stalks, thinly sliced

- 1 Large Fennel Bulb, stalks discarded and bulb finely diced

- 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

- 4 Large Russet Potatoes, peels left on, cut into 1-inch pieces

- 2 Tins of Cole's Smoked Mussels

- 4 Cups Water

- 2 Cups Half and Half

- Freshly Grated Nutmeg


Heat the bacon and butter together over medium heat in a large saucepan. When most of the bacon has been rendered and the meat begins to turn dark brown, add the onion, celery, fennel bulb, and thyme. Cook until the vegetables are translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, mussels, and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes begin to fall apart, about 20 minutes.

Add the half-and-half and turn the heat off. Stir to combine and let sit for 20 minutes so all the flavors can meld.

Divide the bisque among 4 soup bowls and garnish with a few gratings of nutmeg.

Serves 4.

*(recipe adapted from “For Cod and Country: Simple, Delicious, Sustainable Cooking” by Barton Seaver)*