Langoustine and mussel chowder with herb celery

Submitted - Ben
Views - 437
Serves - 4


20 raw or cooked medium-sized langoustines
450g/1 lb mussels, cleaned
50g/2oz butter
4 fresh bay leaves
50ml/2fl oz dry white wine
1 small onion, chopped
50g/2oz rindless dry-cured unsmoked bacon, cut across into short, fat strips
225g/8oz potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
1 tbsp plain flour
300ml/10fl oz full-cream milk
120ml/4fl oz double cream
1 tbsp chopped herb celery
2 water biscuits, crumbled
freshly ground black pepper


If using raw langoustines, put them into the freezer for 30 minutes to kill them painlessly. Then put the langoustines into a pan large enough to hold them and all the mussels and add 300ml(10fl oz) water and half a teaspoon of salt.

Cover, bring to the boil and steam for three minutes. Then uncover the pan and turn the langoustines over once or twice. Add the mussles, cover the pan again and steam for a further 3-4 minutes, until the mussels have all opened (discard any which remain closed).

Tip the langoustines and mussels into a colander and set over a large bowl to collect all the cooking liquor. When they have cooled slightly, remove the langoustines and mussels from their shells and set aside.

Alternatively, if using cooked langoustines, remove from their shells and set aside. Put the mussels into a medium sized pan with the water, then cover and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking juices as before, and remove the mussels from the shells.

Melt 25g(1oz) of the butter in a large pan, add the langoustine shells and two of the bay leaves and fry for one minute. Add the wine and the reserved cooking liquor and while it is bubbling away, crush the shells with the end of a rolling pin to release all their flavour into the cooking liquid.

Cook for 3-4 minutes and then pour back through the colander into the bowl.

Heat the rest of the butter in a pan, add the onion and bacon and cook gently until the onion is soft but not coloured.

Add the diced potatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Stir in the flour, then add the milk, cream and bay leaves and strain in the flavoured cooking liquor through a fine sieve to remove any small pieces of shell.

Simmer for 5-7 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Stir in the langoustines, mussels and herb celery and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Ladle into warmed soup plates and serve sprinkled with the crumbled water biscuits.


30 mins to 1 hour preparation time
10 to 30 mins cooking time