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
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.
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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