Cream of Shellfish Soup (Creme De Coquillages) Recipe

Cream of Shellfish Soup (Creme De Coquillages) Recipes

Ingredients :

900g (2 lb) mixed shellfish

2 tarragon sprigs

1 onion, skinned and chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

25g (1 oz) butter

25g (1 oz) plain flour

300ml (1/2 pint) dry white wine

150ml (1/4 pint) double cream

2 egg yolks

30ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley

salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method :

Prepare the shellfish according to their type. Set aside any seafood which is already removed from the shell, for example scallops or oysters. Save the liquor from oysters to add to the soup.

Thoroughly scrub all the cockle and mussel shells, discarding any that are open and which do not close when tapped firmly. Put them into a large saucepan with 600ml (1 pint) water, the tarragon, onion and celery.

Cover and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until all the shells open. Add any shelled, uncooked shellfish, such as scallops and oysters, and leave the pan off the heat for a further 10 minutes - the heat of the liquor in the pan will cook the raw shellfish.

Strain the shellfish and reserve the cooking liquor. Remove all the shellfish from the shells and discard any unopened shells. Cut up any large shellfish, such as scallops. Set all the shellfish aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the wine. Replace the saucepan on the heat and bring the soup to the boil, stirring all the time. Gradually stir in the reserved cooking liquor and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Stir the cream into the egg yolks, then add the mixture to the soup with the reserved shellfish and the parsley. Heat gently, stirring, for a few minutes without boiling, then taste and adjust the seasoning before serving the soup.

Serves 6

In Brittany, where this recipe originates, a wide variety of shellfish are used, including scallops, oysters, mussels, whelks and cockles; however you may use any mixture you prefer. Cooked prawns or shrimps can also be used: peel them and add the shells to the water used for cooking the fish.

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