John Besh's Mussel & Swiss Chard Soup Recipe

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Here's something we need three of: cookbooks by John Besh. His latest book, Cooking From The Heart, is an ode to his culinary journey. Discover where some of his favorite dishes, techniques and ingredients originate and how you can make them at home like the famed Louisiana chef himself. First up, a light but flavorful mussel soup perfect for cold weather.

The mussels are so delicate and lightly cooked in this soup that they seem to float like little dumplings among the shredded bright green Swiss chard. I like to serve the soup as the first course of a meal that features a whole fish, like Roasted Sea Bass Provençal.

See that time John Besh took over our Instagram account here.

Reprinted with permission from Cooking From The Heart

John Besh's Mussel & Swiss Chard Soup Recipe
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  • 3 pounds mussels
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  1. Rinse and scrub the mussels under cold running water and debeard them by pulling off their hanging threads. Discard any cracked mussels.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pot with the white wine and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the thyme and mussels and season with salt and pepper. Cover and steam just until they open, about 2 minutes.
  3. With a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a bowl. Add the Swiss chard to the pot and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. When you’re ready to serve, drop the mussels back into the pot and warm the soup.
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