by Rachel Allen from ‘Coast’ (Harper Collins)
A simple, lovely bowl of comforting goodness. All it needs is some crusty bread
on the side.
Serves 4–6 as a starter
30g (1¼oz) butter
100g (3½oz) streaky bacon rashers (smoked or unsmoked), all rind & bones removed, meat cut into 1cm (½in) pieces
100g (3½oz) leeks, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
500g (1lb 2oz) peeled potatoes, chopped into 1cm (½in) dice (Nigel used diced new potatoes with their skins on)
500ml (18fl oz) hot chicken stock
750g (1lb 10oz) mussels in their shells, well washed and cleaned – discard any that are not tightly shut or don’t close when tapped
100ml (3½fl oz) double or regular cream
2 tbsp chopped chives
a little squeeze of lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
Melt the butter in a saucepan on a medium heat.
Add the bacon and fry for about 5 minutes, until golden.
Add the leeks and potatoes, cover and cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are almost tender.
Add the hot stock and continue to cook until the potatoes are cooked.
Tip in the mussels, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until their shells open, shaking the pan occasionally. Discard any mussels that remain closed.
Stir in the cream and chives and a few drops of lemon juice, then heat through.
Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve in warm bowls.