Chef Carolyn Johnson’s Cauliflower and Mussel Soup

Meal type Cauliflower, Fennel, Mussels, White Wine
Season Fall, Winter


  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced and well washed
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 small bulb fennel, sliced
  • 2# yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • lb butter
  • mussel broth (see below)
  • 2# mussels, scrubbed and debeared
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tablespoons butter


1 Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the fennel, leeks and celery.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until vegetables are starting to wild.
2 Add the cauliflower to the pan.  Stir frequently and cook until cauliflower is just starting to become tender.
3 Add the mussel broth and potatoes to the pot.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender.
4 Puree the soup in a blender.  Be careful to fill the blender only half full at a time with the hot soup.  Add a small amount of water to the soup if  necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
5 Pick the meat out of the mussels reserved from making broth, use them to garnish the soup.

6 Heat the butter in large sauce pan.  Add the celery, onion and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook over med-low heat until the vegetables are are starting to wilt and become translucent.
7 Add the mussels to the pan.  Stir to coat in the butter and vegetables.  Add the wine and bay leaf.  Turn the heat to med-high.
8 Once the wine has come to a simmer, add the water and stir well.  Cover the pot and cook until the mussels have opened.
9 Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer.  Set the mussels aside to cool.