Janny de Moor Janny de Moor

Mussel soup from Zeeland (Zeeuwse mosselsoep)


Serves 4:



  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 chicken leg
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • pinch of powdered saffron
  • pepper, salt
  • 4 kg live mussels
  • 150 ml water
  • 4 onions sliced into rings
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 6 black peppercorns lightly crushed
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 75 g cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 200 ml whipping cream
  • celery leaves, to garnish


To serve:

  • buttered soft rolls (kadetjes)
  • filled with garden cress

The Dutch have a long history with mussels since in the 15th century fishermen discovered that mussels could be kept fresh by throwing them overboard when home. In the so-called ‘Golden Age’ (17th century) ordinary Dutch people liked to eat their mussels raw with beer for breakfast. But mussels also got a place on the heavily loaded tables of the rich, so temptingly depicted by the famous Dutch painters of that period.

Wine in a soup from Zeeland? Not so surprising if one takes into account that the capital, Middelburg, played an important part in the transport of wines from all over Europe.  Today Zeeland has its own Wine Route, connecting four vineyards of the province.

  • Bring to the boil wine and water with chicken, carrot, saffron, pepper and salt. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for an hour.
  • Scrub the mussels under cold water. Discard any with broken shells or those that do not shut when tapped. Cook the mussels over high heat in 150 ml water with onion, carrot, herbs, pepper and water until all are opened, shaking the pan three times. This will take no more than 5-10 minutes.
  • Strain 500 ml of the cooking liquid two times through a cloth. Add this broth to the wine soup. Take the mussels from their shell discarding any mussels that remain closed.
  • Remove the chicken leg from the broth, add the leek. Cook two minutes, then thicken with cornflour, dissolved in some water. Take the pan from the heat, add cream, mussels and the finely chopped chicken meat. Sprinkle with celery leaves.
  • Serve with buttered soft rolls (kadetjes) filled with garden cress.


Wine: perhaps a Dutch Muller Thurgau.

Deel recept

  • Categories:
  • Deel recept