Stunning soup that only needs three ingredients

Kitchen Cabinet: Fish Shop owner and Beach House chef Jumoke Akintola turns mussels, leek and potato into something special

Jumoke Akintola’s mussel, leek and potato soup.

Jumoke Akintola’s mussel, leek and potato soup.

 

Nigerian food is, in the main, composed of a huge variety of vegetable based soups and stews that are eaten with rice or other starchy foods. These soups and stews are lovingly laboured over for hours.

I never really learned to cook these dishes, much to my shame, but the older I get the more I find myself gravitating towards the same types of food, particularly in a crisis. I think it’s because soups and stews require little more from you than time. They’re even easy to eat.

This very simple soup uses three very Irish ingredients that complement each other beautifully; mussels, leeks and potatoes. I’m using Killary Fjord Mussels and vegetables from Tom Cleary, an organic grower in Co Wexford. The soup won’t take hours to prepare but it will taste as if it did.

Jumoke Atintola is chef at Beach House, Tramore, Co Waterford.

MUSSEL, LEEK AND POTATO SOUP

Serves four

Ingredients

1kg mussels in the shell

1 large leek

4 medium sized potato

From your storecupboard:

Vegetable oil

Butter

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Wash the mussels under cold running water using a clean sponge or brush. Remove the beards with your fingers and discard any open mussels. Return your now clean mussels to the fridge.

2. Take the white part of your leek (the green parts can be reserved for stock) and wash it thoroughly under cold running water to remove any grit or soil. Pat it dry and dice roughly. Put your diced leek to one side.

3. Peel, dice and wash the potatoes under cold running water to remove dirt and starch. Put your potatoes to one side.

4. Bring enough water to cover your mussels to the boil; once the water is boiling add your mussels and cover firmly, shaking once or twice during the cooking.

5. After four minutes, discard any mussels that have not opened and strain the rest in a colander taking care to reserve your mussel stock. Now pass the stock through a sieve. Keep your cooked mussels warm.

6. Lightly coat the base of a pan with vegetable oil over a medium heat then add one knob of butter. After 30 seconds add the diced leek.

7. Soften the leeks gently taking care not to colour them.

8. When the leeks are nice and soft, add the potatoes, stir and add enough mussel stock to just cover the leeks and potatoes. Bring the pan to the boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Leave the potatoes and leeks to cook in the mussel stock. You may need to add some more of the stock from time to time.

9. Once the potatoes are soft enough to pierce, take them off the heat and add half to a blender with just enough stock to get your blender going.

10. Once you have achieved a smooth paste, continue adding stock and potato/leek mix, blending until you have reached your desired thickness.

11. Season with salt and pepper and pour into your warm bowls.

12. Garnish each bowl with a handful of the cooked mussels, and a drizzle of olive oil and some chopped parsley, if you have it. Will go perfectly with some good, crusty bread.

Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-toques Ireland who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome

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